Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 6, 2013

Intentional Minimalist: Versatility is Asparagus Tapenade's strong point

A farm-to-table twist on the French classic, this Asparagus Tapenade can be served as an hors d’œuvre with crusty artisan bread, as an accompaniment to appetizer platters, pasta or salads, or baked with eggs or poultry.

This recipe uses local asparagus, spring garlic, micro greens and herbs, and features local produce from 9 Bean Rows Farm, Spring Hollow Farm and locally produced products from Black Star Farms.


Asparagus Tapenade

Farm fresh local asparagus

Farm fresh local spring garlic

Raw walnuts

Farm fresh local purple basil micro greens

Farm fresh local dill

Homemade wild leek infused olive oil

Black Star Farms verjus

Crushed red pepper flakes

Ingredient Note: A wide variety of infused olive oils can be purchased at grocery stores, specialty food stores or if you are an adventurous home cook you can make your own. Regular olive oil may substituted for the infused olive oil used in this recipe.

Boil water in a large covered metal skillet with a steamer basket inserted in the skillet. Trim ten asparagus stalks and slice into one inch pieces. Place asparagus in steamer basket, turn heat to low and steam asparagus stalks three minutes until tender.

Slice four spring garlic whites into the glass container of an electric blender with one half cup raw walnuts, one half cup purple basil micro greens, one quarter cup dill, two tablespoons wild leek oil, one tablespoon verjus, one quarter teaspoon red pepper flakes and one quarter teaspoon sea salt. Blend the tapenade for thirty seconds in a covered electric blender and scrape down the sides of the blender.

Stir in the asparagus to the electric blender and blend for an additional thirty seconds. Taste the tapenade and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Kristin Celeste Shroeger of Traverse City is the recipe creator, photographer, dishwasher and blogger of The Intentional Minimalist, a website encouraging farm-to-table cooking with local, seasonal and sustainable produce. Visit

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