A couple of quick things:
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- ASPARAGUS ASPARAGUS ASPARAGUS.
- Also: more pea tendrils, the first appearance of rhubarb, and (arriving mid-day Thursday) mei qing choi, a form of bok choy that I am most curious to try.
- Also, asparagus!
Scroll down for the full list of what we’ll have this week!
The asparagus arrived today. For us, our years run asparagus to asparagus — from the harvest of the first spring crop to the next. It’s been a good year if there are enough sweet potatoes and carrots and beets to get you through.
This last year was a good year, made difficult only by its refusal to leave. The cold that lingered through April felt to me like an unnecessary, even excruciating, prolongment. The gorgeous weather of the last week or so has been divine, but felt a little disjointed to me, without the asparagus here yet. But now — here it is, and all is right with the world. (Or at least that little corner of it.)
We have, this week, the very last of last season’s sweet potatoes. Probably not quite enough to make it through Saturday. Carrots are a similar boat, and the beets won’t be too far behind. Get ’em while the getting’s good, or be content to wait for the new crops to come in. Either way, know that it was a good year we just finished — perhaps a very good year — that those things hung around even though the asparagus was so late. Let’s give thanks for that.
But mostly: let’s savor the promise of the new year, and think about what we’re going to do with the asparagus while it’s here. It’s always brief, and I’m afraid its lateness this year will likely mean we have even fewer weeks with it than normal. I’ve been dreaming about old favorites, reading last year’s posts, and scouring my favorite recipe sites.
Tonight we’ll start with the purest form I know — asparagus on the grill, just a little olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Soon — very soon — I’ll make an asparagus revuelto (paywall maybe), Spanish-style scrambled eggs with chorizo, chunks of fried bread, and, of course, asparagus. Then I’ll make it again, but with shrimp instead of chorizo. Somewhere along the line I’ll make a farro salad with pan-seared asparagus and scallions, Calicutts Garden Citrus, a splash of sherry vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon; probably some Royer Mountain grated over the top, but maybe Shepherd’s Delight. Probably an asparagus and pea tendril risotto even though we just did a pea tendril risotto last week, but doing it in the Instant Pot is so easy — why not? The leftovers are wonderful for breakfast, fried in a patty, with an egg over top. Maybe a pasta, just really simple, sauteed asparagus tossed with hot noodles and good olive oil, or even shaved raw asparagus tossed with hot noodles and good olive oil; either Royer Mountain or the Caputo ricotta salata vecchio on top. Or hell, take it a different way, and toss it with fresh ricotta and an extra shower of salt. Or another way entirely, and cook the asparagus in plenty of brown butter, and throw the noodles into the pan to soak it all up. Last year there was also a ramen with shaved asparagus, radishes, and generous helping of scallions, but that’ll have to wait for one of the cooler days in the forecast. Maybe instead I’ll experiment with different ways to combine asparagus with spring garlic sauce, because it’s good to try new things, and I’m sure that won’t be bad.
If you do need to take a break from asparagus (even if it’s just for a meal!), you might break out this recipe for Farro with Sausage, Bok Choy, and Garlic, but try it with the Mei Qing Choi (or regular bok choy — we’ll have both!) and some spring garlic. Or, from last week, the Miso Carbonara with Bok Choy and Spring Garlic. The options are widening, folks. It’s like a whole new world out there.
P.S. Just flipping through the index of Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons, there’s a recipe for Asparagus, Garlic Chives, and Pea Shoots — with an egg. I haven’t even looked at the recipe yet, and it seems like I’ll need to make that (but with pea tendrils and spring garlic). I’ll keep you posted.
- Pea Tendrils
- Young Bok Choy
- Mei Qing Choy (Bok Choy type)
- Green Curly Kale
- Young Spinach
- Fuji Apples (IPM)
Onions & Garlic Potatoes Salad Greens
Onions & Garlic