Something happened this weekend. Perhaps it was the effect of our Saturday picnic on the beach (our first of the year!). Or maybe it was the marked uptick in temperatures that seems to be signalling that spring is really, truly, finally here. But this weekend, I suddenly felt so happy and at peace — more than I’ve been in a very long time. It’s a wonderful thing.
And the signals that spring is here? That’s pretty wonderful too. The winter turned out to be longer and darker than anyone expected (both literally and figuratively), and spring seems to carry with it an overall feeling of hope and joy. We need that. Doesn’t everyone?
I love spring — the sunshine, warmth and gardening weather. It’s when the gardens beckon to be tended to. Garden centers overflow with pretty plants just begging to be bought and planted. And every spring, I entertain visions of exquisite gardens and bountiful veggie patches.
Let’s hope this year that my visions take a firmer hold than the last two years. Seriously.
Spring also means that veggies and herbs will be in season here in New England again. And right now? It’s asparagus time. I love asparagus — how about you?
This nutrient-packed veggie is filled with antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin C and so much more, according to Eating Well (love that magazine). It’s super good for you and may even help boost your brain power (seriously, folate and B12 can really help with that). It’s worth eating not just because it’s delicious, but because it can do amazing things for your body too. Score!
This weekend, this toss together asparagus dish became a new family favorite. Earthy roasted asparagus is smothered with sweet roasted tomatoes. It’s simple — but so, so good (it disappeared before I could get seconds!).
For this dish, you want the fattest spears of asparagus you can find. While I love the delicate thin ones as much as the next girl, it’s the fat ones that work best here — especially since even when they’re tender they remain firm. You also want sweet red and yellow grape-sized tomatoes. None of those tart imposters will do. Oh, and one more thing: season this really well with salt and pepper. Seriously, don’t hold back.
While this dish is undeniably simple, there’s something special about how the flavors mingle. You’ll find yourself going back for more again and again. Swear.
Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes
- 1 bunch asparagus ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup yellow sungold tomatoes grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup red grape tomatoes halved
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet. Sprinkle with halved tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper – seriously, the asparagus need to be seasoned well before roasting to really bring out the flavors.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the asparagus is tender. Serve hot from the oven.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.