Asparagus Vinaigrette and Apple Trees Adored

I can’t even begin to explain how exciting this time of the year is proving to be at the farm. It seems like we went from cold and dreary to sunshine and bursting in less than a heart beat! Everything is coming at once…wild violets, bluets, wild strawberry blossoms, fiddleheads, sorrel, rhubarb, asparagus, lilacs and apple blossoms. The Saint John River valley is covered with apple trees of all sorts. There are commercial apple orchards, large farms with a few dozen here and there and then the old, forgotten grand dames that stand in full grandeur along the roadside and riverbank. You can see them everywhere, laden with blossoms, wanting to be adored.

Ralph and I have found 15 heirloom apple trees on our farm. Long forgotten, over grown and covered in moss and bramble, these beautiful century old apple trees are fighting for life. Last summer, with the help of my dad, our daughters, Sara, Katie, Meg and Kaitie’s partner Dan, we managed to rescue five trees. All five made it through another winter and are in full bloom!

Beyond blossom gazing, I put in our new asparagus bed this week. It is very sad looking…Ten spindly looking sprouts that in three years will make their way to our dinner plates. Until then, we will rely on the super market!

ASPARAGUS VINAIGRETTE

serves 4

1 lb fresh, crisp, fat asparagus. Ends trimmed and tough skin peeled 1/3 of the way up the stalk

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes.

Have a large bowl of ice water ready to place the blanched asparagus in to ensure the asparagus stays bright green and crisp.

Let asparagus sit in ice bath until completely cooled.

Dry with paper towel and place on serving platter.

While asparagus is cooling prepare vinaigrette.

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

ground pepper to taste

Whisk garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper together well. Slowly whisk in oil until well emulsified.

Drizzle over the bottom end of the pile of asparagus leaving the tips clean.

Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Excellent with grilled meat or fish!

Thanks for reading.