Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hop Shoots - prepared properly at Teresa's Next Door

Unlike my feeble attempt three years ago, Andy and his crew at Teresa's Next Door knew exactly what to do when they brought a bundle of both above- and below-ground hop shoots back from Dan Weirback's hop farm in upstate Pennsylvania.

I stopped in at TND a few days ago and found almost the last of their hop shoot inventory prepared two special ways.

One was served like a salad of hop shoots and watercress, with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes as the primary accompaniments.

The other, my personal favorite, was prepared with a perfect piece of halibut topping a bed of ramps and hop shoots.

Unlike my attempt to serve with a mostly butter mixture, I learned here from Andy that it's all about the accompaniments and the presentation. Mine? Looked nearly as digusting as you could imagine. Theirs? A pleasure to look at and a mouthful of other flavors and textures to accompany the otherwise fairly bland hop shoots.

What about you? Have any of you found other restaurants working with hop shoots on their menu in the early- to mid-Spring season each year?

(on watercress)

(halibut on ramps and hop shoots)


Anonymous said...

I've tried cooking my young homegrowns the past two years. But they're too chewy for me. And personally their flavor profile isn't anything to get worked up about. I'll take regular asparagus anyday.

Bryan Kolesar said...

You're certainly right about the flavor and that's why I've found it's more about the accompaniment...and why I found TND's presentation very appealing. In a sense, they become almost like filler/salad greens with little flavor to contribute to the overall dish.

But, for the texture. I've found that it is certainly possible to get the young ones that are very palatable. In the two dishes at TND, I only needed to discard two small pieces that were too woody.