Grilled Asparagus

Grilling is my favorite way to cook asparagus, especially while evenings are still cool. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Finally, the asparagus has decided to wake up and poke its tips through the soil in the garden. We’re expecting one more frost tomorrow night, but the subsequent forecast makes it clear I will soon be harvesting an asparagus crop.

You may think I’d wait for even warmer weather to make the grilled asparagus recipe I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. But we have no fear of firing up our battered, hand-me-down Weber before the heart of the summer grilling season. Grilling is my favorite way to cook asparagus, and a hot grill is far more comfortable to stand over while the evenings are still cool. It won’t be long before the spears will be sharing grill space with a range of homegrown produce, including corn, eggplant, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos.
Learn to make Grilled Asparagus

Cooking Wild Mushrooms

Mushrooms have so much water that they’re ideal for the grill or a dry sauté. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Northwest Montana has a reputation as morel country—one that’s unfortunately being increased by extended wildfire “seasons.” But as I learned by talking with local forager Dale Johnson for my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, morel mushrooms also tend to crop up in areas thick with cottonwoods. So we’ve been looking closer to home for these flavorful fungi over the last couple of weeks. No luck yet—I’m suspicious that they’ll be in hiding from the near-freezing nights as long as my asparagus—but we’re keeping our eyes peeled.

Dale shared more than just tips on foraging for morels. He also offered up some of his favorite cooking techniques, many of which apply to all sorts of wild mushrooms. He emphasized how there’s so much water in mushrooms like morels that they will have the best flavor and texture if they’re cooked first and then hit with butter, soy sauce, cream, or other favored ingredients. I’ll be following Dale’s advice and grilling or dry sautéing our morel harvest.
Learn to cook with wild mushrooms

Spring Vegetable Quiche

I soon expect to gather enough asparagus and baby spinach for my first spring quiche. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you’ve been reading my latest Twice as Tasty columns for the Flathead Beacon and some of my other recent work, you know that spring has been oh-so-slowly arriving in Montana, with days of sun, snow, rain, frost—and sometimes all four in a single morning. The garden is beginning to wake up, with the greens we let go to seed last fall sprouting in freshly weeded beds and my first round of cold frame seeds showing signs of life. Walking onions and chives have been available for harvesting in small quantities, and rhubarb and mint will soon be big enough for the first crisp and mojitos.

However, the asparagus is still stubbornly in hiding from freezing overnight temperatures. As soon as we consistently get nights just a couple of degrees warmer, I expect to gather enough of it and baby spinach for my first spring quiche.
Learn to make Spring Vegetable Quiche

Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt

Use a shrimp dish to feature a single homemade ingredient, fresh yogurt, and save the shrimp shells for stock. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
I snuck lots of fun kitchen ideas in last week’s blog post, including my streamlined recipe for Homemade Yogurt, all of the homemade ingredients I use when making the bean dip featured in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, and my favorite homemade dippers. If you found the lineup intimidating rather than inspiring, you’ll like the shrimp dish that’s in my column this week. If you’re a gardener, you’ll likely reach for homegrown onion and garlic; if you’re near coastal waters, you may be hauling up shrimp pots or buying directly from local fisherfolk. Otherwise, I use it to feature a single homemade ingredient: fresh yogurt.

As I mention in the column, plain yogurt is the most versatile, whether you’re making your own or buying it at the store. From one batch of plain yogurt, I can blend a serving into a smoothie, mix another with jam and top it with granola, and stir some into a savory bean dip or the sauce I use on shrimp, fish, or potatoes.
Learn to make Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt