Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Roasted Asparagus with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

 

Earlier this spring Nourishing Ontario prepared a report for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  Their report emphasized the central role that farmers’ markets, co-ops, and other local food systems play on our economic and collective prosperity.

With a report like that how can you not want to get out and tour the best our area artisans and food producers have to offer? I find that getting out and touring all of the reawakened Farmers Markets throughout the region has me feel like I’m coming out of hibernation along with many other people who I haven’t seen since autumn.

As May comes to a close it is without a doubt that Asparagus and rhubarb are available in great abundance. Right now early harvested asparagus is at its peak of sweetness. Its sugar content can exceed that of maple sap which is approximately 4% sugar. Asparagus is best when prepared the day it was harvested as its sweetness quickly deteriorates after it is picked as the plant begins to consume itself to survive and it can readily use its own sugar.

Rhubarb on the other hand was known as the vegetable of barbarians by the Ancient Greeks and understandably so with its blood red, celery like stalks and its strong astringent flavour peppered with the toxic oxalic acid which can make you feel like your mouth has been pulled inside out when eaten raw.

The contrasting flavours of these two vegetable makes them a natural pair for the following recipe of roasted asparagus with rhubarb vinaigrette which can be served hot or cold and pairs well with barbecued beef or chicken.

 

 

 

Roasted Asparagus with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

 

Ingredients:

2 bunches fresh asparagus, about 2 pounds

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 green onion or garlic scape, minced

½ cup diced rhubarb

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

Brown sugar to taste

Salt and pepper

 

Method:

Heat half of the olive oil in a medium sized, stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Gently stir in the rhubarb and cook it in the oil for an additional 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and cautiously stir in the vinegar as it may splatter a bit in the oil. Let the rhubarb mixture simmer until the rhubarb is begins to breakdown but does not become mushy this will take about 10 minutes.     Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Adjust the sweetness of the rhubarb mixture as desired with brown sugar if needed. Reserve sauce.

 

Clean and trim the asparagus. Place the asparagus in a medium sized bowl and drizzle with the remaining half of the olive oil. Gently toss the asparagus to get it evenly coated with the oil. Sprinkle the asparagus with a generous pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper and toss the asparagus a couple of more times. Transfer the oiled and seasoned asparagus to a parchment lined baking sheet, be sure not arrange the asparagus in a single layer.  Roast the asparagus in a preheated oven at 400f until they turn an intensely deep green colour, which will take about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to give the pan of asparagus a gentle shake every so often while they are cooking so that they do not become overcooked on one side. Once the asparagus reaches desired doneness, remove it from the oven. If serving this dish hot, plate the asparagus immediately, drizzle it with the rhubarb sauce and serve. If you choose to serve this chilled, allow the asparagus and rhubarb sauce to cool down. Plate and serve when desired.

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