Monday, March 23, 2015

First Taste of Spring

One of the earliest of spring veggies is asparagus.  Soon after the snow melts, tender little spears pierce the cold ground and seek the sun.  And they're good for you as well as delicious.  As they appear on our table, they proudly announce the long, cold winter is over and life is renewing itself.

My preferred preparations start with steaming them briefly (they should still snap a bit when you bite into them), or tossing them in olive oil and roasting them in a hot (425-450) oven just until they start to caramelize.  A healthy dose of salt & pepper is all they really need.

Photo via Epicurious
There are some ways to dress them up, of course.  Make a bacon vinaigrette and add roasted asparagus to your favorite spinach salad.  When you roast them, wrap little bundles in bacon or pancetta.  Or, dress up roasted or steamed spears with a drizzle of sauce (a vinaigrette, or a citrus sauce).

Another signature of spring would be pasta or risotto with tender, young veggies such as asparagus.  There are great examples here and here.

Photo via Fine Cooking
Welcome to spring!

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