The inspiring spear

Asparagus is available in Israel from November until July. Adding it will transform any old dish into a gourmet meal.

November 17, 2010 09:57
3 minute read.
Schupfnudel with asparagus and porcini.

asparagus_311. (photo credit: (Photos by Daniel Lila))


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Fall is a short season in Israel. We may get a week or so of fall and then it’s winter. But be as it may, the calendar suggests it is winter and the cooler evenings call for heavier, more comforting dishes.

This is also the time for asparagus, which will soon be available in markets and almost all food stores. Here are a few recipes from our favorite chefs. They are not the easiest and call for some expertise, but hey. who knows, you may be our next master chef in the making.

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Courtesy of chef Eitan Sasson of Gutcha

✔ 4 red tuna steaks, 200 gr. each

✔ 12 asparagus sprigs

✔ 1 container cream

✔ 1 Tbsp. ground pepper

✔ 1 shot of cognac or brandy

✔ Olive oil

✔ Atlantic salt

Prepare the sauce: Roast the ground pepper on a dry pan until you can smell the aroma. Very carefully add brandy and light. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to half and add cream. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until thickened. Add salt to taste.

Prepare the steak: heat a heavy iron pan. Rub a few drops of olive oil on each of the tuna steaks and season with salt and pepper. Roast on the heated pan for 2 minutes on each side. Make sure the center stays pink. Roast the asparagus sprigs at the same time you roast the fish. Pour sauce on the plate and place fish and asparagus. Serve with a side dish of potato puree or a baked potato.


Schupfnudel literally means pasta fingers, and it is a traditional Austrian dish. There are numerous recipes, both savory and sweet, for these noodles, and made from potatoes they are very similar to Italian gnocchi. This recipe, given to us courtesy of chef Daniel Zach of Carmela Banahala in Tel Aviv, pairs the Schupfnudel with asparagus and porcini mushrooms for a very earthy and delicious dish.

Makes 6 servings For the noodles:

✔ 1 kg. potatoes

✔ 2 tsp. salt

✔ 11⁄2 cups sifted flour

✔ 1 whole egg

✔ 1 egg yolk

✔ coarse kosher salt

✔ oil For the sauce:

✔ 2 Tbsp. butter

✔ 1⁄2 cup cream whipped

✔ 1⁄2 cup dry vermouth

✔ a bunch of thin asparagus, blanched (keep warm)

✔ 6 sprigs thick white asparagus. Blanched and cut

✔ Atlantic salt

✔ 1 cup porcini mushrooms, soaked

Peel the potatoes, place in a pot and cover with water. Cook until done. Strain and return to pot, place over low heat for a few minutes to dry the potatoes or in a warm oven for 15 minutes. Mash the potatoes and let cool. Add salt, flour, egg and yolk and knead into smooth dough.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 3-cm. diameter “sausage.” Flatten a little and cut into 2-cm. pieces. Roll each piece into a 4-cm.-long and thin strip. Place in a floured baking sheet or plate.

Boil water in a large kettle. Add salt and 2 Tbsp. oil. Lower the heat. When there is a gentle simmer, carefully place the noodles in the boiling water and cook until they float. Meanwhile melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a frying pan. Brown the cooked noodles in the butter a for about 7 minutes.

Pour vermouth into the pan, add mushrooms and reduce liquids. Season with salt and add whipped cream. Cook, folding the cream gently into the sauce.

To serve, pour some sauce on each plate, divide the noodles and asparagus between the plates and season with sea salt.

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