Friday, May 15, 2009

The Age of Asparagus

Dear Boo,

I seem to be the only person in the world (aside from the folks I saw it with), who didn't enjoy the most recent Broadway production of Hair. Praise for this show has even made it into the food blog world. And Ben Brantley went so far as to say, "any theatergoer with a pulse will find it hard to resist." The appeal has apparently been so universal that I began to question my own capacity for empathy, for passion, indeed whether or not there is a heart beating in my chest. I was having a real crisis of conscience, here, I kid you not.

That is, until I walked through the farmer's market the other day and spotted a virtual forest of stalks, neatly bundled and standing at attention, their petaled buds tilting coyly this way and that. My heart leapt! SPRING. ASPARAGUS. HOORAY. Turns out, there is blood running through my veins. Take that, Brantley.

For lunch that day I lightly steamed a bunch of my little green friends in a pan, then uncovered and tossed them with a good splash of balsamic, and a dash of salt, pepper, and olive oil, and let them go for a teensy bit longer until the edges browned and the balsamic went a little syrupy. Then a sprinkling of grated parmesan and onto my plate they went, piled alluringly next to a couple of slices of great cheese and a dollop each of white bean hummus and babaganoush. Sometimes you work with what you got. Damn, was it good.

A few suggestions for your asparagus feasting:

1) Toss a bunch with a few tablespoons of olive oil, some kosher salt and black pepper, and roast at 425 for 10 minutes or until they look crispy and browned but not burned. If you want to go crazy, squeeze some lemon and sprinkle some parm on these when you're done.
2) Serve cooked any which way with scrambled or poached eggs for brunch.
3) Throw in a pot of boiling water until crisp tender, then serve with butter and salt
4) Cook some shells or oriecchiette in a pot of boiling water. When pasta is done, remove and add to water cut up bite sized slices of asparagus. Toss with pasta, add some cheese and serve.
5) Grill em on the barbeque, then wrap with proscuitto for an hors d'oeuvre or on top of salad.
6) Eat it raw in this salad, spotted first here. Then write and tell me how it is.

Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding! This is the dawning of the age of asparagus, Boo! Get some while the gettin's good!


The Mouse

Note from the Boo: And , of course, this recipe from Sarah Leah Chase. Highly, HIGHly recommended.

1 comment:

Lickedspoon said...

Viva the age of asparagus... almost over for another year, so let's fete its charms while we can. If it's very, very fresh, like minutes out of the ground and still squealing from the shock of it, I can vouch for it being delicious raw in a salad.