Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Beginnings

Now that this blog is part of my finally-launched website, I'm going to try and join you all more often. It's spring, the season of fresh starts, and I'm giving it a go. And while some of us are still enjoying the glories of a new season (or waiting expectantly for it to begin at all) others of us have quickly, if lovably, lost sight. My wife Sarah announced three days ago—on March 21—that she was “sick of asparagus.” As in, she’d already had her momentary fill, thank you, and couldn’t we have carrots? Or spinach? Or spring onions? I did what any of you—any of you in places where your yards are flooded, your ground still frozen, your trees still leafless—would do. I ignored her, and I cooked two fat bunches of spears until browned, the tips crispy, and following a recipe from the A16 Food + Wine cookbook, I mixed up some walnut crema to go with them.

But my very favorite way to have asparagus this time of year is to roast it and serve it topped with a fried egg, yolk still soft, and a flurry of freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Though some prefer the pencil-thin spears, I like to choose the fat ones, which you can roast until crispy without worrying about desiccation. With toast on the side, this is a variant on my much beloved breakfast-for-dinner, but it feels more sophisticated then the usual—and in the fleeting season when sparrow grass feels like a special treat, a very fine celebration of the season.