Thursday, April 20, 2006

Green green green, unless you are asparagi

Everything is turning green green green outside my office window. Even the spindly birch growing from the roof of the decayed atelier next door has draped itself with festoons of pollen, like a May Day pole wreathed in one color ribbon. From one day to the next I can see the leaves unfurling on all the trees, shading from yellowish green to darker as they absorb the sun. Photosynthesis at play.

But other signs of spring, untouched by sun, have arrived in town. White asparagus is back on restaurant menus and on ours too. Last night Will made a detour on his way home from work to run by the green grocers near by. He was going to pick up some strawberries but the asparagus changed his mind so he arrived home with a bag full. Luckily we had eggs, the near rind of a parmesan chunk and some prosciutto left over from Easter. Our first dinner on the balcony this year turned nearly gourmet thanks to the leftovers and asparagus. Here is the recipe:

Prosciutto or ham slices
Parmesan, sliced or grated
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F/200C

Fry the prosciutto or ham slices in a pan until crisp. When done, remove from heat and arrange on plates.

Trim asparagus of woody parts (not the tips!) and if still a bit stiff, use scraper to remove excess skin (bark?). Toss with olive oil. Assemble on cooking sheet. When oven is hot, place sheet in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until roasted. Top with parmesan and place back in oven until melted (3-5 minutes). When done, arrange on plates.

Boil two inches of water in large pot. When water is simmering, crack shells and drop eggs into pot. Let cook three minutes or until whites are set. Using slotted spoon remove from pot, arrange on top of asparagus.

Salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it. So easy and good. Best of all, it took 2 minutes to clean up! Happy Spring.


jess said...

Ooh, that sounds delicious. Might have to follow your example next week.

Julia said...

Let me know how it tastes! And have a great week and Easter.