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Celebrate Mom!

Alstede Farms Offers Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes That Celebrate the Glory of Springtime Harvests

There's something about springtime, fresh eggs and fresh asparagus that is a natural, logical connection. In the 1900s, Asparagus Eggs Mornay was a sought after dish. It’s a simple food made magical by a white sauce made from a roux of flour and milk. Pancetta and Asparagus Strata is the perfect dish if you have food you need to use, like day-old bread. Since it’s a casserole, it’s forgiving: You can throw anything in it. For a sweet touch, the fresh berry salad incorporates whatever berries are in the season, which now are strawberries. Adding peas makes the salad bright, colorful, crunchy and sweet. See what is in season at

Asparagus Eggs Mornay
Fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 strips of bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
10-12 asparagus spears

Olive oil
2/3 c milk, heated
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/3 c Gruyère 

2 tbsp parmesan

1-2 tbsp white wine
2-4 farm-fresh eggs

1-2 slices of bread, toasted and cut into small wedges

Set the oven to 350° F.

Prepare the bacon and chopped parsley for garnish and set aside.
Clean, trim and steam asparagus until almost fork-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt.
Place the asparagus on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Keep asparagus warm in the oven.
Set up a deep skillet to poach eggs. Fill the skillet with 1 inch of water. Set the pan over high heat.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Heat the milk for 1 minute in the microwave. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour to the butter. Mix to create a roux. Mix in a pinch of salt. Add the warmed milk. Stir until milk starts to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Warm the plates if possible.

Check the water in the skillet. When it is boiling, add a 1/2 tsp of salt and white wine. Lower the heat to simmer. Break eggs into small bowls or cups. Gently turn the eggs into the water, spacing them so that they remain separate. Simmer for 2 minutes for a very runny egg; 3-4 minutes for a more cooked yolk. Boiling longer will hard-cook the yolk. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. Blot the spoon on a paper towel to be sure that all the water is removed.

While the eggs are cooking, place the sauce back onto very low heat and stir to be sure all the cheese is melted and sauce does not stick to the bottom or burn.

Criss-cross the asparagus spears onto the warm plates. Place an egg or two on top of the asparagus in the center. Drizzle the sauce over the spears and the eggs. Sprinkle and garnish with chopped parsley and bacon. Place toast pieces of choice around the plate.

Serve with extra Parmesan (optional). 

Recipe by Jennifer Borealo, Culinary & Educational Specialist 

Pancetta & Asparagus Strata

8-10 c Italian bread, French baguette or hallah bread loaf
¾ lb asparagus
3 oz diced pancetta (rendered) 

8 eggs 

1 ¼ c heavy cream 

¾ whole milk
Salt and pepper 

2 tsp fresh tarragon

4-3 tbsp butter, salted
1 ½ c Gruyère (shredded)
1/3-1/2 c Parmesan (grated)

Dice bread into larger crouton size. Lightly toast in batches.
Blanch asparagus in salted water. Shock in ice water. Drain. Cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces.
Dice pancetta, sauté over medium heat until just crisp and drain.
Combine egg, heavy cream, whole milk, salt, pepper and tarragon.

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with a sheet of buttered parchment paper.

Top with ½ of the bread cubes and place the asparagus over the bread. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 of the Gruyère and sprinkle with ½ of the pancetta. 

Repeat with the remaining bread, pancetta, asparagus and cheese.  
Pour in the remaining cream mixture, making sure all the bread is saturated.

Casserole may be covered and refrigerated overnight.

Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Place a sheet of foil loosely over the top of the pan if the strata is browning too quickly.)

Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe by John-Paul Andronici, Food & Beverage Manager

Fresh Berry Salad
8-10 c mixed salad greens
2 c sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 c red onion, very thinly sliced
1 c sugar snap or snow peas, cut in half
3/4 c crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/2 c toasted, sliced almonds, walnuts or pecans

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp raspberry vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

Tear salad greens into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients.

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and mustard. Pour over the salad ingredients.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe by Jennifer Borealo, Culinary & Educational Specialist 


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