Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

March 25, 2010

Now that we’ve had it for a few weeks, the asparagus is finding its place(s) on the menu . . . we have a salad of seared asparagus stalks with raw asparagus strips and tempura asparagus, Zach put a great lunch salad on the menu of asparagus all’arrabiata (tr:ANGRY!) with arugula, pickled fennel, and some delicious coppa that he cured and slices very very thin. On fried chicken night (every Tuesday) we served an asparagus fricasee with pickled red onions and fines herbes as a side dish to the pollo frito (along with mustard-scallion potato salad and cavatappi mac and cheese).  We’re trying to resist the hollandaise, ham and cheese, and egg mimosa presentations that are part of our culinary past in other restaurants . . . those things are so delicious but they’re so heavy, and the flavor of the asparagus is a bit masked by all the fat involved.

White Asparagus

The not-top-secret-but-extremely-exciting item that’ll go into our garden this coming winter is white asparagus–we haven’t been able to find a producer west of Holland that’s north of Peru, so we’re going to try it ourselves, piling up the dirt over the stalks every day so they don’t photosynthesize and turn green.  Then I guarantee you’ll see that dungeness crab bearnaise and the crispy poached eggs deployed with recklees abandon, because it’ll still be cold out and we’ll want something rich to cut the singular astringency that personifies white asparagus, even when it’s been cooked with plenty of salt, sugar, and vinegar.  But now, while the green stuff is sweet and cheap, we’re lightening and brightening it up.

Leave a Reply