When the first big snow storm hit New England last week, I smiled a bit and took Will outside to play while I shoveled. Of course, I am not supposed to be lifting heavy things, but someone had to do it and my husband was working. Less than 48 hours later when we got slammed with winter weather again, I groaned. More snow? Already? Oh no. And then it sleeted and iced over and we couldn’t quite remove it. Now, days later, there is a sheer sheet of ice covering my extra-long, extra-wide driveway. And no matter how much salting and attempted shoveling, I cannot seem to banish it. What a pain, and it’s only December! This is why I want to uproot our family and escape to New York . . .
So, what do you do when you can’t play outside or go out anywhere or even get the mail (since the mailbox is at the end of the supersized driveway)? You cook. A lot. And do your best to keep the house clean while everyone gets crazy cabin fever. One of the things I have been cooking is asparagus.
Now, David Lebovitz might take me to task for playing with asparagus in December when it’s clearly out of season, but if I only ate New England’s seasonal vegetables (see, using the FULL word, David!) then it would be a depressing winter of too many tubers, I dare say. (Psst! Click here to read David’s really amusing posts on five words he thinks should be eliminated from the food vocabulary. I would add the insipid E.V.O.O. – ugh, just say the whole thing! – and foam anything to the list as well. Foam is cute, and cute isn’t always a good thing.) Sometimes, it is okay to give in and buy a vegetable from far off.
I love asparagus. As a child, I would only eat the tips because the ends were too stringy for me. As an adult, I realize that’s because my grandmother didn’t properly snap them off — if you snap the asparagus ends off then it will naturally break above the too stringy portion. And, if you soak the asparagus, like this recipe suggests, then you will easily remove any trapped dirt. Just be sure to extract the asparagus from the water carefully so as not to reattach any of the dirt.
These simple recipes make some really delicious asparagus recipes. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Serving Method #1: Just Roasted
Transfer asparagus to a serving platter and serve warm. If desired, garnish with a bit of lemon zest and sprnkle with lemon juice just prior to serving.
Serving Method #2: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Let asparagus cool to room temperature. Then wrap each piece with a half slice of prosciutto. (You will use 1 piece of prosciutto for every two spears of asparagus and delis will cut to order — as in you can request 13 extra thin slices, or whatever, as need be.) Serve as an appetizer.
Serving Method #3: Asparagus and Swiss Omelet
Have leftover roasted asparagus? Make an omelet and stuff it with three spears of asparagus and one slice of Swiss cheese. It’s delicious. Seriously. You have to try it.