Everyone is sooooo sick of all that farm-to-table crap. It is too easy in this day and age to make fun of the simple concept, especially when some people have eaten food from their gardens for years...decades...generations!
When Chris Fischer set out to write a cookbook about his farm, he showed serious chops. You see, Beetlebung Farm has been in his family for years...decades...generations -- 12 generations to be exact. So if you are really committed to farm-to-table and not just trying to hang with your pretentious food friends, then The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook for you. Not only did Chris Fischer come to the farm with family history, he also came with quite a bit of kitchen history having worked at Babbo, St. John Bread &Wine, and The River Cafe. (If you read this blog you know that many of our favorite chefs have spent time in the kitchen of The River Cafe.)
So we have generational family farm, excellent chef history...did we mention the farm was on Martha's Vineyard? Because we feel that if one is going to be a farmer, one might as well do it on Martha's Vineyard. And so The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook was born.
Fischer learned a lot from the gals at River Cafe. They have always had a way of taking the raw ingredients and letting them shine. There was never too much mucking about with truly great product and Fischer shares this aesthetic. What transpires is great ingredients turned into great food.
Recently there has been much written both good and snarky about toast. In fact there have even been cookbooks written about toast. Yes, it is pretty funny that you need someone to tell you how to make toast. Still, it is one of those very elemental and very rewarding foods that can move us from childhood and beyond.
Here is Fischer's fabulous toast.
Asparagus on ToastFor the Gribiche:2 eggs1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves picked and chopped6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilkosher salt, to taste3 scallions, finely choppedpickled carrot, chopped, to taste1 Tablespoon pickling liquidFor the asparagus and toast:16 thin asparagus spears, trimmed2 Tablespoons butter1/2 lemonkosher salt, to taste4 slices sandwich bread, toastedMake the gribiche.Bring a pot of water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook for 8 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, and peel. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the yolks to set.
Mix together the parsley and olive oil in a medium bowl. Generously season with salt. Add the scallions, pickled carrot, and pickling liquid. Chop the eggs, stir into the gribiche, and season to taste with salt. (Makes about 1 cup.) Keep the gribiche in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Use any leftover on crostini, sandwiches, or salads or as a sauce for poached fish.For the asparagus and toast:Prepare the asparagus and toast. Cut the asparagus spears into 3-inch lengths. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it’smelted, add the asparagus and cook, turning the spears in the butter until they are bright green and just tender but not yet soft, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with lemon and salt.Place the asparagus on the pieces of toast, top with the gribiche, and serve.
Yes, it's toast, but just think how happy you would be if you had this on a plate right this second!