Kara and Robert Brooks * Still River Café
134 Union Road * Eastford, Connecticut 06242
Phone: (860) 974-9988 * www.stillrivercafe.com
Nestled in northeastern Connecticut’s Mountain Laurel-studded woodlands, Still River Café at 27-acre North Ashford Farm is a little gem. Executive Chef Kara Brooks creates seasonal menus with fresh, imaginative dishes that evoke reverent enjoyment and sensory delight. The restaurant is in a beautifully restored 150-year old barn overlooking Robert’s sun-dappled vegetable and herb garden on the edge of the woods. Called the “Number One Foodie Destination in New England” by Boston Magazine and acclaimed as extraordinary by the New York Times, Still River Café is a refreshing, magical culinary experience. Reservations are a must for Friday and Saturday evening dinner or for their Sunday lunch/brunch.

Asparagus Bisque with a Parsnip Flan
  • 1 onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds asparagus, cut into 1 1/2” pieces (reserve 6 tips)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

  • 3 large parsnips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 ounces fresh soft goat cheese

    Soup: Cook onions, shallots, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt in butter in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus, stock and water and simmer, covered, until asparagus is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

    Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Stir in cream, crème fraiche and vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Blanch the reserved asparagus tip in salted boiling water until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

    Flan: Preheat oven to 325°F. Peel and cut the parsnips into 1" pieces. Place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place in the work bowl of a food processor and puree. Add eggs one at a time. Add heavy cream, salt and pepper and process just to incorporate. Add chevre. Butter 6 ramekins and fill them with the mixture. Place ramekins in a water bath and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until slightly puffed and an inserted knife comes out clean. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out.

    Place flan in the middle of a bowl, Pour the soup around the flan and garnish with asparagus tips. Yield: 6 servings

  • Still River Café

    Recipe Seeds: Asparagus, Parsnips