Roasted Asparagus and Garlic Soup

7Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

It’s been extra spring-y lately. All I want to do is lay in the grass and nap in the sun, half in-half out of consciousness style. I find myself craving spring vegetables like asparagus. The asparagus and garlic combo is so tasty! Crack a generous amount of pepper and top with parsley. Restaurant worthy? Yes!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds asparagus, tips trimmed
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk (replace with broth for dairy-free version)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • cracked pepper and chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Preheat your oven to 450F. Toss asparagus and smashed garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange asparagus on prepared baking sheet over parchment paper in a single layer. Roast for 12 minutes, stirring half way through.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer asparagus and garlic to a blender. Add broth and milk, blending until smooth. Work in batches if necessary. Transfer soup to a soup pot and warm over medium-high heat. Thin with more broth if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add finely chopped parsley and stir though. Enjoy!

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All Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

Roasted Artichoke with Garlic Cloves

8Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

I’ve always stared at artichokes in the produce aisle with the blank look of confusion. Giant leafy green thing. I didn’t grow up eating them but this weekend I decided to give it a try. After a generous squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and a nest of 4 garlic cloves, this little guy roasted in the oven for 60 minutes. It came out smelling so fragrant and savory. When it cooled slightly I peeled away at the outer layers and made it to the center, where the layers were super tender and saturated in that unbelievable garlic-y goodness. Extremely tasty! Don’t be intimidated.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large artichoke
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cold pressed olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut off the bottom stem of the artichoke and the top 1/3 off. Using a small knife, hollow out and discard the inner center leaves.
  2. Spread out the leaves as much as possible and drizzle with the juice of half a lemon and olive oil. Make sure it gets in all those layers! Season generously with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy.
  3. Nestle the peeled garlic cloves in the hollow center. Wrap the artichoke tightly in aluminum foil and roast for 60-65 minutes until very tender. Pull apart those leaves and devour! Eat the garlic, too.

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4369All Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

Shrimp Scampi over Linguini

1Photo Credit: Ashley Cuoco

I’ve been eating shrimp since age 5, when I had my first shrimp cocktail. I popped them like candy, dipping generously one after another into cocktail sauce. It was at that moment that my parents realized they had a daughter with an “expensive palette” who appreciates the finer things in life. Fast forward almost 20 years and I am still a connoisseur of shrimps. Cocktailed, sautéed, grilled, or otherwise– nothing beats fresh seafood. Whenever I’m at an Italian restaurant I always tend toward a pasta dish with shrimp, scallops or mussels. I love a nice, light butter white wine sauce or simple marinara. There’s something so delicate and satisfying about a smooth, flavorful sauce and succulent shrimp over al dente pasta. I go back to it time and time again. Find your local seafood shop and become a regular. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite white wine and watch this easy weeknight meal become a restaurant quality treat at home. If your husband doesn’t like shrimp… well, then: more for you!

Prep Time: 15 mins — Cook Time: 25 mins — Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound linguini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  1. Cook pasta as directed on package. I prefer Barilla linguini cooked al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm.
  4. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence via Food Network.