Check out the related video story: Biodynamic Vineyard On the surface, the practice of medicine—both the traditional and non-traditional approaches—would seem to have little in common with the growing of grapes. For Dr. Robert Gross, there is a strong connection between his training as a medical doctor, and viticulture. This episode draws upon the rich interplay between two completely separate fields, each helping to enhance better understanding with the other.
- 2 lbs. local asparagus (washed and woody end cut off)
- 1/2 cup whole Oregon hazelnuts (toasted, skins removed and rough chopped)
- 4 oz. fresh goats milk cheese (chevre) softened at room temperature
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 1 T champagne vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- First, get a pot of water big enough to hold the asparagus and
bring it to a boil. Salt the water generously. Have an ice bath ready to shock the asparagus.
- Boil asparagus for 2 minutes and plunge immediately into ice bath. Remove when chilled completely.
- Using a heavy saucepan reduce the heavy cream but be careful because if you heat cream too quickly it will spill over pot and all over your stovetop. If you place a silver spoon in the cream, it will hold (that’s a chef trick, but make sure you take out the spoon when finished).
- Reduce the cream by 1/2 then toss in the goat cheese and vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat and use a hand blender to emulsify.
- Adjust seasonings to whatever you feel you need. Keep at room temperature.
Instructions for the hazelnuts:
(in Oregon you can find hazelnuts (filberts) in many forms)
- If you can, buy whole with skins removed.
- Toast in a sauté pan on the grill until you see color and smell the nuttiness.
- Then crush the nuts.
- With a hot grill toss the asparagus in the olive oil and salt and pepper and grill for 5-7 minutes until slightly charred.
- Pool the sauce on a serving plate, add the asparagus in any arrangement, and sprinkle the hazelnuts overall.
Please make sure you have your Cooper Mountain 2005 Reserve Pinot Gris well chilled and ready to serve. The acid in the wine pairs perfectly with this dish. Everybody always says that it is very hard to pair asparagus with wine, but the blanching and grilling of the vegetable mellows the difficult marriage. The sauce plays a key role to this pairing also. The nuttiness (hazelnuts), the creaminess (heavy cream), and the subtle acid from the cheese and vinegar carry out all of the same nuances from this amazing unique Biodynamic wine. Please enjoy on an amazing Oregon spring afternoon.
Yield: Serves 6 people.
Recipe courtesy Christopher Tukre, Chef, & Cooper Mountain Vineyard