Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Things I Like: Asparagus

IMG_6441 You know it’s spring when asparagus shows up at your supermarket. It’s always a happy surprise, “oh, that’s right, you again!”, one that makes me feel like we’ve finally rounded the corner into a new and hopeful season. As soon as I spied the spears in the produce aisle I decided to go all in and put several bunches in the cart, which meant I had to do something with all of that asparagus when I got home. I used the first bunch in a lemony risotto—one of my all-time favorite dishes—with lemon zest, lots of grated pecorino and freshly ground pepper. Perfect. The next couple of bunches got the KEEPERS technique of pan-roasting at high heat in a slick of oil until they breakdown and get ever so slightly charred (it sounds scary but it produces the most delicious asparagus). And for the last bunch I decided to keep it very simple…

I steamed the spears in a large skillet (adding enough water to go barely half way up the spears if they’re lying on their sides) until bright green and just soft enough to pierce with a steak knife but not too soft. I then cut the cooked spears into bite-size pieces and tossed with lemon juice, good olive oil, pepper, and flaky salt (at this point you can put the asparagus in the fridge and chill to eat as a cold salad whenever you’re ready, or you can toss it with some warm pasta). Then I cooked a 7-minute egg (boiled until the yolks are just set, a bit runny in the middle) to put on top of my asparagus salad. I also could have added a nice slice of prosciutto, a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar, a flurry of chopped herbs, some stale bread cubed then toasted in a skillet with olive oil and garlic…but for once, I laid off the extraneous toppings and ate the salad as simple as possible. Happy Spring!!

 

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