i love food. real food, whole foods, foods that are healthy for my body, the farmers that grow it, my community, and the planet. i'll spare the soapbox, but local, natural foods are where its at. plus, they taste better. the asparagus, strawberries, broccoli i've had so far this season are everything that supermarket produce aspires to be.
in the midst of all my thinking lately, i've found a lot of joy in cooking. i think about food and meals a lot. partly because this year has been a learning experience in cooking for two, not just one, which has made my love for exploration more necessary and more gratifying. i'm still learning to cook enough food for us, and maybe one of these days, i'll cook enough for leftovers!
new natural ingredients, like farro, ghee, & whole grain flours [spelt, oat]; making pestos & sauces & vinaigrettes; learning new things, like what kohlrabi is [and that it's greens are edible and good!]; and made-from-scratch pizza nights are a few examples of what i've been trying and enjoying.
a recent success [one of the best dishes i've made, according to tim] was this lovely asparagus ribbon salad. not only was it delicious, but it was easy and fresh for the longer, warmer evenings of spring when it's a little less fun to stand in front of a hot oven. also, i submitted this picture to my csa and won a $15 credit for produce, with which i bought, what else, more asparagus.
asparagus ribbon salad
[adapted from here]
one bunch fresh asparagus, washed
two handfuls spinach or arugula, washed + dried + roughly chopped
1 / 4 cup roasted hazelnuts*, roughly chopped
parmesan reggiano for serving
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice from one lemon
2 tsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp finely chopped sweet onion
salt + pepper, a pinch each
- combine dressing ingredients in a jar or bowl and shake or whisk to combine
- using a vegetable peeler, shave each asparagus spear into several ribbons, starting from the tip and working downward. the tip is hard to shave, so just do the best you can.
- put the asparagus ribbons in a medium bowl and toss them gently with about half of the dressing until coated. let this sit for about 15 minutes to soften the asparagus.
- when ready to serve, add the greens to the asparagus and gently toss. add more dressing to taste if needed.
- put on serving dishes, adding hazelnuts, cheese, and ground black pepper. enjoy!
* to roast hazelnuts: place raw nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 300 F for about 15-20 minutes. keep an eye on them and use your nose to tell when they are done - roasted hazelnuts are fragrant. let then cool for several minutes, and using your hands or a clean towel, rub them together to get most of the skins off. they are great in pasta dishes, salads, cereal, and straight up.
* use leftover dressing on other warm or cold salads. yum!