Monday, June 11, 2012

Asparagus stalk gazpacho

Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook already know where I was on Thursday night. F and I and 59,998 other people were hanging out rocking at the stadium with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

And what a night it was: when I got home at 2am my palms were sore and swollen from clapping, my throat felt raw and my voice had dropped an octave. 

On Friday, at my daughters' end-of-the-school-year party, I was not the only parent walking around with a dumb smile on my face and a hazy look in my eyes.  All I needed to hear where a few random words, snippets of a conversation (little girl, 4 hours) in passing for my usually shy self to turn back towards a large group of strangers and butt into their conversation.

"Where you there last night too?".

I was instantly welcomed into their circle, I was one of them. We were special, we had all experienced the magic. We were the chosen ones, who had sung and danced with The Boss during his second longest show ever, 3 hours and 45 minutes of non-stop energy, music, poetry at Stadio Meazza in Milan. We were the ones who had watched him jump up and down like a teen ager, horse around with his fans and band members, shed tears during the tribute to his great friend Clarence. We were there song after song, 33 of them I believe, just broken up by his epic "one-two-three-four". Bruce may be in his early sixties but he has the energy of the kids he pulled up on stage. When he wasn't singing he was playing one of many instruments or running the length of the stage. The man never stopped.

When you go to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, you know you are in for a real show, that you will not be disappointed. You know you will be getting 100% and that is why you leave feeling like you were part of something special, like that 100% was especially for you. And you will walk around like a lovestruck teenager humming his songs for the next week.


Talking about 100%, in my last post I promised I would give you a recipe to use up every last part of that bushel of asapargus you bought the other day at the market. The season for asparagus is short and you don't want to miss out on any of their loveliness.
So here is another green recipe, and by green this time I also mean environmentally. I was watching a cooking show the other evening during which an Italian chef used all the less noble parts of produce, the ones everyone normally throws away, in her recipes and I was fascinated. I did not rememeber her exact ingredients so I mixed up what I did remember with bits and pieces of advice from the Internet and came up with this. It turned out to be more delicate in flavor than I expected, lacking that familiar punch of taste you get from its red cousin, but it was refreshing and light, a different and original take on my all time favorite gazpacho. I will also not pretend it was great fun to peel all the stalks, but it is worth the satisfaction of using them up. Using the plump, fatter asparagus will make this part quicker. We ate ours garnished with previously chopped up hard boiled eggs (I thought of that after taking the pictures, sorry!).

Ingredients (4-6 servings)
500 gr asparagus stalks, peeled 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 spring onions (green and white part)
1 or 2 cucumbers, deseeded
1 small green bell pepper

1 cup breadcrumbs (or more)
2-3 tbsp white wine or rice vinegar
about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more)
about 1/3 cup cold water (or more)

salt and pepper to taste
3 hard boiled eggs to garnish, chopped (optional)

Peel the asparagus stalks with a potato/carrot peeler and blend with all the other ingredients. Let chill in fridge. The amounts are somewhat approximate because the flavors and amounts change according to personal taste and size of vegetables used. I gave the minimum amounts because I suggest starting with less oil, salt, pepper, garlic, water and breadcrumbs and adding more as you go along, after tasting and according to thickness desired. Store in fridge for a few hours to chill. Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning: when cold, the soup may require some extra salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with olive oil (and garnished with previously chopped up hard boiled eggs if you like).


  1. What a great idea! Never thought of using asparagus in gazpacho!

    1. What surprised me the most was the very delicate flavor, most of the flavor comes out when it is cooked.

  2. I can't tell you how jealous I am about the boss concert. What an amazing, amazing experience. And I LOVE the idea of using the unloved bits of veg. This is gorgeous. More...?

    1. I am trying to discover more recipes by the same chef to try out. And yes, the Boss was amazing.

  3. Delicious recipe and woow!!!! Bruce Springsteen is still performing! I was mesmerized when I saw him on MTV in the eighties doing the Dancing in the Dark bit. I wish I was there!

    1. Practically every time the man makes a new album, he travels the world to promote it. He is in better shape than most people I know, truly.

  4. Nice dish. It would be great if you linked it in to Food on Friday: Asparagus . Have a great day.

  5. I like this idea… will try!

  6. What a fantastic idea!!! I had never thought about it! Bookmarked for our asparagus season! Lucky girl to be at THAT concert!!!!!! Wish I was there too! :-)))))

  7. How fantastic to have seen Bruce Springsteen in concert! Sadly I just missed Prince's concert here as I was overseas. Well not sad because I loved being overseas but I really wanted to see Prince!

  8. I've just got back from sunny Barcelona where I've been eating the most gorgeous gazpacho, both the traditional tomato one and a beautiful white almond one. I love the idea of an asparagus version too - so refreshing and summery.


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