Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Mushroom and Asparagus Toss

A couple of weeks ago I bought some mushrooms (from the regular grocery, I’ll admit) and asparagus (from the Market).  But I bought too much food in general that week, and they sat longer than they should have.  By this last weekend, the asparagus was dried out and the mushrooms were ALLLLLMOST yucky.  But I’m trying really hard not to waste food.  So!  I roasted them!  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them afterward, but knew that roasting would buy me a few more days before the vegetables died completely.  As it turned out, I tossed them with some pasta, sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella tonight, but I could also have mixed them into some eggs for a frittata.  So I have two recipes tonight: the mushrooms and asparagus, and the pasta toss.  You can cook them at different times or all together, and it will work just fine. 


20 oz sliced mushrooms
2 small bunches of asparagus, broken into smallish pieces
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

The Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 375F.  Toss all the ingredients together and cook uncovered, stirring once, until the mushrooms are brown and the asparagus look dried out, about 45 minutes.

On to the next!  Now, had I known I was going to put those in the pasta, I would have also tossed in some garlic.  I ended up adding garlic powder to the pasta after it was all said and done, but that’s really not the same.

1 batch Mushroom and Asparagus Roast
8 oz dried whole-wheat pasta, long-cut (I used spaghetti, but any long-cut pasta will do.)
4 oz Mozzarella, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped (or buy one of those little jars that are already julienned)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

The Recipe:
If you’re making it all at once, start with the Roast recipe above, but add 2 cloves minced garlic.  After that’s been in the oven about 20 minutes, heat the water for pasta and bring it to a boil.  Add a generous amount of salt (don’t skip this step; it really DOES make a huge difference, especially with whole-wheat noodles) and the pasta.  When it’s done, grab 1/4 cup of the cooking water out of the pan with a glass measuring cup, and dump the pasta into a colander.  Don’t rinse it; put it right back into the pan, and toss the cheese, tomatoes and Roast in there.  Toss it all together, and taste.  Add salt and pepper (and garlic powder, if you didn’t add the garlic to the Roast).  Add some olive oil, a couple of tablespoons at a time, and a little cooking water until you get a consistency and flavor you like. 

If you like, you can top it with a little Parmesan cheese and some red pepper flakes.  YUM. 

How Did it Go?
Better than I expected, actually.  Not as good as the chard pasta, but still good.  I think if I had leftover mushrooms and asparagus again, I might also try putting them in some eggs and milk and baking them up like a quiche.  In that case a mild white cheddar (and maybe a little Dijon mustard) would be amazing mixed in.  You could also just serve the roasted veggies alongside a piece of steak, chicken or fish, with a little cheese sprinkled on top.  Served warm, they might also be good spooned over some salad greens, with the pan juices as a dressing (although that one might need a little salt), and a glass of white wine.  Lots of options on this one!


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