Hello again! I have returned from my winter hibernation, and am now ready to take on more cooking, photographing and generally obsessing about food. This installment is inspired by this weekend’s high holiday: Easter. I always associate a few key memories with Easter Sunday. One is being dressed up as a young child in coordinated, puffy-sleeved bow dresses with my sisters (complete with headbands and those frilly white socks) and hunting for plastic eggs on a giant lush lawn. The other is mimosas and fine brunch foods, which I think should always include ham and asparagus. I may be not the traditional Easter observer, but I think we can all agree on champagne and pork, no?
I was introduced to this spectacular Food52 Absurdly Addictive Asparagus recipe last year, and it has made me lust for asparagus season (February through March, with the stalks peaking in April) ever since. The absolutely perfect combination of crackly pancetta, pine nuts, citrus zest and bite of onion would make me want to gobble up any vegetable by the spoonful, but it’s particularly great with asparagus. It made me so high on this springtime delight, that it got me thinking about other asparagus winners out there. Here are four of my other favorite ways to eat the great green stalk:
The list could go on, but we only have so much time before the season passes. I’d suggest using thicker stalks for this recipe, since I think it’s meant to be a sturdy side dish (or even the star!) and those delicate, skinny stalks just won’t be as satisfying. I found a purple varietal at my local store, which added an extra pop of color, but still had the same classic flavor as the original green stalks. Just do me one favor when you make this: don’t overcook the asparagus. If anything, allow them a bit more of that “al dente” bite in the center. The wrinkly, soggy skin of overcooked stalks just doesn’t do this fresh, spring flavor justice. There, I’ve said my piece. Enjoy. Happy Easter.