A dish of bright green asparagus is the spark for memories that could or will become a story. It is certainly a bit of memoir remembering putting me back in to several worlds.
I buy and cook asparagus often. Its easy, dresses up a meal and I love it.
I am so known to love asparagus, especially the slender, baby spears, that Jim’s mother used to stock the refrigerator with the bright green bundles and have it waiting for me on our visits to California. I have eaten it for breakfast, lunch and supper. Asparagus as a side with scrambled eggs – ambrosia.
Growing up Mama bought canned asparagus at the Big Star on Central Avenue when she wanted to dress up a special meal – you know, the fat, muddy green, soggy spears. She would put them on a platter with a huge dollop of creamy Duke’s mayonnaise – maybe some red tomato slices -as a side dish. Even then I liked them – mostly because they were supposed to be a special treat.
I don’t remember the exact time or place I discovered fresh cooked asparagus but after that moment there was no going back.
It might have been about the time I discovered that green beans did not have to be cooked with fat-back until they were black – although that is the way I like them best and will feast until I am full on the memories of my grandmother’s house on East Seventh Street.
Do you like the picture? Here is the recipe. Thanks to SimplyRecipes.com
- 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
- 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest – freshly grated lemon rind
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.
2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.
Note that when you are working with so few ingredients, it’s important to make sure they are of the highest quality.
Yield: Serves 4.