Spring Garden Recipes

In conjunction with the blooming season, Montage Palmetto Bluff’s Executive Chef Nathan Beriau shares two recipes that incorporate spring’s bounty of herbs and vegetables.

Asparagus and Eggs with Sauce Gribiche

Serves 4

Asparagus and Eggs with Sauce Gribiche
8 stalks of standard size asparagus (use 2-3 stalks per plate)
Kitchen string
3 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon vinegar (white wine vinegar will also work)
1 tablespoon chervil, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Espelette pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 tablespoon cornichon, chopped
1 teaspoon salmon roe
1 breakfast radish, shaved thin
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Clean the asparagus: Trim off all of the leaves and trim the asparagus to even lengths roughly 1 1/2 inches from stem. Then, using kitchen string, gently tie the asparagus together 1 inch down from the tips, and one inch up from the bottoms.

In a large pot, bring salted water to boil and blanch the asparagus until tender, roughly 3 to 4 minutes, then remove and shock the asparagus in ice water. When cool, remove from the water and place on a towel to drip dry.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then cook the eggs for 8-9 minutes. (This will result in a creamier yolk and lend to a better mouth feel for the sauce.) Remove the eggs from the water and run under cold water until the eggs are cool. Separate the yolks from the whites and finely grate the whites. In a bowl, fork mash the egg yolks, working in the mustard and half of the olive oil.

Next, add 1/2 of the egg whites and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the herbs, Espelette pepper, capers and cornichons. Re-season with salt and pepper as needed, and thin with a little more olive oil, adding the remaining egg whites if too rich.

To Plate:
Serve the sauce gribiche at room temperature over the asparagus. Artfully place the roe and the sliced radish around the asparagus. Zest the lemon directly over the dish and drizzle with a touch more olive oil. Serve immediately.

Suckling Pig with Tart Onions, Spring Dug Roots and a Green Garlic and Spinach Puree

Serves 4

Suckling Pig with Tart Onions, Spring Dug Roots and a Green Garlic and Spinach Puree
Suckling Pig Belly

12 bay leaves
3 large rosemary sprigs
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves, crushed, skin left on
1 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 cup kosher salt
8 cups water
Food-grade plastic bag
1 pound belly of suckling pig (skin on pork belly will also work)
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large pot, combine bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, thyme (reserve one sprig for later), parsley, garlic (reserve one clove for later), peppercorns salt and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and cool completely, then chill before using. The brine can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. (This amount of brine is ideal for up to 4 pounds of pork.)

In a container large enough to hold the pork belly, pour in the brine and add the pork. Refrigerate for 8 hours.

Remove the pork belly (discard the brine) and rinse under cold water, then let it air-dry.

Season the pork with salt and pepper and place in food-grade plastic bag with one clove of garlic and one sprig of thyme. Using a FoodSaver or Cryovac machine, vacuum seal the bag, removing all of the air until the bag is tightly compressed around the pork.

Using a thermal immersion circulator, cook the pork in a water bath at 141.8 F (61 C) for 18 hours. (This can also be done with a sous vide water oven.)

Remove from water and place into an ice bath (50 percent water and 50 percent ice) until cold.

Cooking the Pork:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Reheat the pork in the bag using the thermal immersion circulator for 20 minutes in a 136.4 F (58 C) water bath. Once done, remove the meat from the bag and towel dry the skin.

In a thick and even-bottom saute pan, add olive oil and then place the pork skin side down, weighting it with another pan on top so it cooks flat. Cook the belly over low-medium heat until the skin is very crispy. Flip the pork and then place it in the oven for 10 minutes to continue to heat through. Remove from pan and let rest until ready to serve. Cut into 3-ounce portions.

Tart Onions

5 cipollini onions or small shallots
1 375 ml red wine

Remove skin and first layer of onion. Cut the onion into 4 quarters and remove the “petals” (separate the layers) individually. In a heavy bottom sauce pot, add the onions and cover with the red wine. Cover the pot and cook the onions until the wine has reduced to a glaze consistency.

Green Garlic and Spinach Puree

1/4 pound of spinach
2 stalks of green garlic, minced

Blanch the spinach and the green tops of the green garlic in salted water and “wring” dry with a towel, removing as much moisture from the spinach as possible.

In a pan, saute the garlic very gently over low heat. Once the garlic begins to turn translucent, add a few tablespoons of water and continue to cook the garlic until it is soft.

Puree all on high speed in a blender, slowly adding just enough water back in to form a vortex so that you end up with a very smooth and bright green puree, pass this through a fine chinois and reserve.

Spring Dug Roots

3 baby carrots and 3 baby turnips (or any other root vegetables you prefer)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Wash the vegetables thoroughly and toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place the vegetables on a pan and then roast in the oven until they are nicely caramelized, about 18-20 minutes.

Remove from pan and place into a bowl, then immediately zest the lemon over them and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary. Keep warm and, when ready to serve, add the chives.

To Plate:
Place the suckling pig belly on a plate and add the roasted root vegetables next to it, sprinkling the tart onions over the top. Then, artfully place three dollops of the green garlic and spinach puree to the side.

Photos by Stacy Howell