Local asparagus is in season, and it has been fantastic so far. Almost every time I visit the grocery store, I’ve picked up a giant bunch of these succulent bright green spears. I don’t peel asparagus because I’m not one to make a big fuss over certain things!
I wash the spears and then snap off the tough bottom end. That’s it!
This recipe was inspired from a wonderful cookbook my sister sent to me for Christmas. For several months now I’ve been craving mashed potatoes. This recipe seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine two ingredients I love, into this light and very flavorful dish. We loved this pie so much, that I am going to make it again in a few days when we are having some friends over for dinner.
If you have a high-rimmed cast iron skillet you should use it. Well seasoned old iron skillets seem to add the flavor of time and spices used previously to any dish created in it now. Cast iron pots first piqued my interest way back in 1986. We lived in Arcata, California at the time and I was a fledgling kind of cook. The shopping was done at the local Co-op, and it was there where I bought my very first cast iron pot. It was labeled a “chicken fryer”. I brought it home, seasoned it, and after that, frequent use made it as non-sticky as any non-stick pan but without the chemical coating.
If you don’t have one, check at yard sales! Even rusty ones can be easily rehabilitated and turned into great cooking vessels again.
There aren’t very many ingredients in this recipe, but the flavors are divine in my opinion. Especially if you use a goodly amount of the roasted garlic. The roasting yields sweet tender cloves of garlic which don’t taste anything like the raw cloves. Give them a try!
Here’s the recipe:
- potatoes, peeled if you like or not, and cubed
- your favorite unsweetened milk
- a little regular or vegan butter
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- a little smoked paprika
- grated nutmeg
- whole roasted garlic cloves ( check the olive bar at the store )
- sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- spring onions with the greens, thinly sliced. Keep the white parts separate from the green ones
- asparagus, washed, tough ends snapped off and cut into small pieces
- a sprinkle of parmesan if desired
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Place the potato cubes in a pot of cold water and add a little salt.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
Cover the pot partially and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Drain well and put the potatoes back in the pot.
Turn heat on low and let the steam escape.
Next, add a little of the milk, butter.
Mash well and taste. Add some nutmeg too.
Gently fold in the roasted garlic and green onion parts.
Set the potatoes aside while you cook the asparagus.
In a heavy skillet melt a little butter and a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the thinly sliced spring onion and sauté until soft and fragrant.
Add the asparagus, smoked paprika, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic to the pan
and stir-fry for a few minutes until crisp-tender.
Turn off the heat and taste. Add a little salt and pepper if needed.
Next, distribute the veggies evenly in the pan and top them with the mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle some parmesan and smoked paprika over the pie if you’re using it and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes
or until the top is getting light brown and everything is piping hot..
Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for a few minutes.