Spring is upon us in the valley and I’m clutching on for dear life, because it is so short lived here and so beautiful. It didn’t quite feel right when the orchards blossomed so early, because despite all those cheery little blossoms… it wasn’t spring. It didn’t quite feel right when rainy season came and went (too quickly) … it wasn’t spring. It didn’t even feel right when the flocks of birds that live outside my bedroom window in the big sycamore tree started twittering at dawn each day… no, it certainly wasn’t spring. But suddenly, through subtle clues in the air, the warm sun staying out longer and longer each day, and the sudden burst of energy in everything surrounding me… it’s here. My favorite clue, of course, is in the produce aisle. This is the glorious time of year when some of my favorites start popping up and I get inspired to spend more time in the kitchen.
Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
From: Ina Garten in Barefoot Contessa Family Style
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving
Though Ina swears by using larger spears for more flavor, I have to kindly disagree. I’m a big fan of the thinner spears because of their delicate texture and I think the flavor is just right. I even have to kindly disagree with her instructions to peel the woody base of the spears, and I’m not quite sure if I’m right, but it feels like you’re just peeling the nutritional value right off. Aren’t the best nutrients in the skins, roots and ugly parts of vegetables?
Either way, this recipe is simple and delicious. I smiled at the sight of these little soldiers lined up in a row, and smiled even bigger with the first taste. Ahhh… spring is here!