Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

24.9.04

My favourite spring vegetable.

It's here!

The first asparagus of the season have arrived.

Actually, the first ones arrived about two weeks ago, but they were too expensive. Now they're here in greater numbers and the price has stabilised.

So - how to eat the first asparagus of spring?

Made a kind of salad, a bit like a nicoise, bed of lettuce, some boiled baby potatoes (out of the garden - walked outside one day early in spring and thought - oh, we have a vegetable garden! It's the kind of thing you let go during winter. Actually, it wasn't too bad, a couple of months ago we put in broad beans, mustard greens, silver beet, carrots, garlic, onions, cabbage and broccoli, so all we had to do was pull out the weeds encouraged by late winter rains to allow our fledgling vegetables to turn their leafy faces to the early spring sunshine. Mission accomplished, back suffering).

Where was I? In the kitchen, improvising a salad.

The lettuce, the boiled baby potatoes, plus quartered tomatoes (out of season - where do they get them? Queensland, New South Wales, California? I don't know, I should ask), halved softish boiled eggs (the yolks still slightly runny), capers sprinkled over the eggs and a few big black olives tossed about along with generous chunks of tuna. Oh, and shavings of nutty, creamy, salty parmesan cheese scattered about as well.

Then - the stalks of asparagus, boiled for just a couple of minutes with the juice of a lemon. I tossed them carelessly over the top ... and they just happened to fall into a perfect radial pattern over the top like spokes of a wheel, what a coincidence!

A nice dressing of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, white pepper and a scored clove of garlic.

Glass of rose.

Cheers, here's to spring. Bring it on.

No comments: