Salade de printemps

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Salade de printemps
From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli


Next we hear from Maple Trout Lilli who writes:

Here’s a recipe I found online for a delicious, bold take on asparagus.   It’s hearty enough for a light dinner and the crisp, sweet caramelized scallions are delicious paired with the asparagus.  Bon appétit.


  • ¼ cup farro or any grain really
  • 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced
  •  Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), woody ends trimmed
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 5 ounces), halved lengthwise and crosswise to form 2-inch-long ribbons
  • 3 ounces (3 cups) salad greens, such as baby arugula
  •  Pecorino or mild cheddar


  1. Bring a small pot of heavily salted water to a boil, stir in farro, cover, and simmer until al dente, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and pinch salt and pepper. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons oil, whisking constantly.
  3. Drain farro and stir immediately into dressing while still warm.
  4. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread asparagus and scallions over a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle liberally with oil, 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then arrange in a single layer. Roast until they start to char in spots, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly: The asparagus are best while still a little warm but not hot enough to wilt the greens.


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From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli

I recently read an article whose byline was “Let’s all stop pretending we love Kale.” Agreed, so let’s eat Chard instead. A vibrant dressing makes these humble leaves go Ka-Pow. Jolt your taste buds like the Nebraska Knoll crew jolts the boiling sap when it’s about to froth out of the back pan: The moment someone flicks a dab of butter onto it to subdue the froth, it roars back, Ka-Pow.

Now for the stats: Heartier than spinach but more tender than kale, one cup of raw Swiss Chard contains more than 300 percent of your recommended intake of vitamin K.   Ka – Pow again!

Simple, easy and oh-so-delicious when we’re all craving freshness.

Wash 1 bunch Swiss Chard; pat dry. Discard stalks and slice leaves into thin ribbons.

Dressing: Whisk together
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. Maple syrup
2 tsp. brown rice vinegar
juice of ½ lime
1 garlic clove minced.

Mix greens with dressing and top w/sliced avocado and sesame seed or cashews.


Eat Your Greens!

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Maple Trout Lilli advises:

From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli

“Swiss Chard” No, it doesn’t taste like chocolate or keep great time. It gets the name Swiss Chard (a.k.a Green Chard) because of its extensive cultivation in Switzerland. The botanist who discovered and then named it hailed from Switzerland. However, its origin is farther south, in the Mediterranean region, specifically Sicily.

So now that you’ve had a little background…Welcome Spring and with that a quick and easy way to prepare Swiss Chard.   The maple syrup and sherry vinegar add a sweet spark to this dish.

Serves 4


1/3 cup cashews
2 pounds rainbow chard, washed and ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ of a large red onion
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar

  1. Remove center ribs from chard with a sharp knife. Cut the ribs into ½ inch pieces and set aside. Coarsely chop the chard leaves and set aside.
  2. Using a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil. Add onion, paprika and chard rib pieces. Cook over medium for 5 minutes.
  3. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring until leaves wilt, about 3 minutes
  4. Add raisins and stock, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish.
  6. Combine maple syrup and sherry vinegar and toss with chard.
  7. Top with cashews and serve.

Adapted from TheChef

[Editor’s Note: MTL brought up this dish, just as pictured, for the vegetable-starved crew. Divine.]

Napa Cabbage Salad

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 From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli

To date  I’ve focused mostly on maple-infused desserts, perhaps leading to the false impression that this is the only suitable use of  the spring nectar.  Maple syrup is an ideal replacement for all other lesser classes of sweeteners (sugar, karo syrup, molasses, etc), not only addressing the sweet piece of our pallet but also imparting it’s own unique and subtle woodsy/smoky flavor.

Following is a recipe utilizing  spring’s bounty.   Enjoy and explore maple’s possibilities throughout your culinary repertoire.

East meets West in this wonderful salad which encompasses all of the crowd pleasing elements:    crisp, crunchy, sweet and sour.
1 Head Napa Cabbage
1 Bunch Scallions
2 TBS Butter
1 TBS Olive Oil
3 oz Package Ramen Noodles, broken
2 TBS Sesame Seeds (black if you have them for more flavor)
1 Cup Slivered Almonds


1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TBS Sesame Oil
1 TBS Maple Syrup

1.  Finely shred cabbage and combine with minced scallions; cover and refrigerate.
2.  Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter and oil and toss w/ramen, sesame seeds and almonds.  Spoon onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, shaking often to make sure they don’t burn.  When brown remove from oven and cool.
3.  Combine dressing ingredients and shake.
4.  Combine salad, crunch and dressing immediately before serving.  It is a heavily dressed salad, so be cautious and use a bit at a time to your liking.  Toss when ready to eat otherwise it looses it’s crunch.
Adapted from Bobby Hale’s Napa Cabbage Ramen Salad
—Maple Trout Lilli

Turnips/Rutabagas/Maple, Oh My

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 From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli

Confused about the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga?  So was I.  Some quick Google research revealed that turnips are a Paleolithic food, cultivated around the world and revered by the Romans.  Rutabagas are an 18th century result of crossing turnips with cabbages.  Which got me thinking… maple syrup is a Neolithic, North American product.  Like the transformation of sap to syrup the following recipe morphs common ingredients into an unexpectedly delicious dish, one which combines the earthy, nutty flavors and creamy, fibrous textures of turnips and rutabagas, with a healthy dose of Maple Syrup.  Maple Syrup binds all the ingredients while adding a unique, smoky, woodsy flavor, thus eliminating the bitterness often associated with turnips and rutabagas.
2 medium turnips
2 medium rutabagas                                                    
3 cups half and half
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 cup grated parmesan


Preheat oven 400
Grease and 8″ cast iron skillet or 8X8 baking pan w/butter
Peel turnips and rutabagas and slice as thin as possible, using a mandoline if you’ve got one.  Toss in a bowl with salt and pepper, celery seed and thyme.
Combine half and half, maple syrup, cayenne and nutmeg and heat over medium flame.  Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
Arrange 1/3 turnips and rutabagas in bottom of greased skillet.  Pour 1/3 cream mixture over veges and sprinkle w/cheese, dot with butter; then add another 1/3 turnip/rutabagas, repeating above steps until you’ve used up all your vegetables.  Don’t overfill the dish; the cream mixture should stop just below the top so it doesn’t bubble over in the oven… you may have a bit left over.
Cover with foil and cook for 1/2 hour.  Uncover and cook an additional 45 minutes or until the top is brown and liquid is absorbed.


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From the kitchen of Maple Trout Lilli

1 Cup coarsely chopped red onion
4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1TBS white balsamic vinegar
1 lb brussel sprouts (about 3 Cups shaved)
1/4 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp. Nebraska Knoll Maple Syrup
1 TBS minced shallot
Your Favorite Vermont soft cheese (optional)

1. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in medium sauté pan and add onions; cook until slightly charred and soft, 10-15 minutes; transfer onions to a bowl and toss with vinegar;
2. Meanwhile prepare brussel sprouts. Remove outer leaves and trim nubs. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut sprouts paper-thin. Transfer shaved leaves to mixing bowl. Add onions and parmesan cheese and toss;
3. Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk 3 TBS Olive Oil, lemon juice, maple syrup and shallot. Season w/S&P.
4. Slice your favorite soft cheese and serve over salad. We love, Triple Crème, by Champlain Valley Creamery, or Oh My Heart, by Lazy Lady Farm.

Blogger’s Note: Maple-Trout-Lilli surprised us with this salad on the first warm day in March. One serving led to another in an attempt to clarify its allure. Not until I read the recipe did I even know it was a brussel sprout salad. Subtle indeed – and superb.