Thursday, March 8, 2012

Asparagus-Zucchini-Spinach Puree

As a spread on a sandwich 

The New Scenic Cafe north of Duluth wowed me once again on Tuesday!  Not only do they cheerfully accommodate my need for pureed food, but the chef willingly shares the approximate measurements of the ingredients he uses to make the new creation so that I can try to replicate it. He views it as a fun challenge, using whatever ingredients he has available.  He pureed asparagus, zucchini and spinach together with shallots and garlic to create a thin spread to put on shredded roasted chicken atop a toasted baguette.  Using the information he provided, today I made a puree that tasted quite close to what he had made.  I made a much larger batch than he did, so that I can have more another day.  This puree could be used in a variety of ways - as a spread on a sandwich, as a sauce for pasta, or thinned with broth to make a soup.  The possibilities are as vast as your Pzazz. 

Making this puree was doubly fun today.  First, because my friend was here to join me.  Second, because she brought her VitaMix for me to try.  I was skeptical that it couldn't do anything that the appliances I already have couldn't do.  Well, I was wrong. WOWZA!  It was fast, it was quiet, it was efficient pulverizing the vegetables to the desired consistency, and it was easy to clean.   Tom had purchased one for me at Sam's Club a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn't even taken it out of the box yet, thinking it was incredibly indulgent to buy it and had planned to return it. My friend offered to let me try hers before I returned mine.  Hmmmmm.... our 30 year old food processor has only one feature that still works and our blender needs more liquid than desirable to easily make spreads or pureed dips, limiting how I can use it.  Hmmmmmmm....pureed food is my required diet.  Time to rethink my initial decision.  Sam (our 18 year old son) does love to make fruit smoothies in the summer and neither our blender or food processor can chop ice.  So I wouldn't be entirely selfish, would I?   

1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
As a soup
4 Tablespoons chopped shallot                    
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 cup chopped asparagus
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 1/3 cup fresh spinach
1/2  Tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Heat the 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat and saute the shallot, garlic, asparagus and zucchini until tender.  Put it all in the VitaMix and add the fresh spinach and remaining oil and be amazed as you watch it turn a vibrant, silky green!

Nutrition:  (using coconut oil rather than olive oil)
Servings per recipe: 3
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Calories: 84
Total Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 17 mg
Total Carbs: 10 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 3 g