One with lots of butter from The New York Times, a favorite from the chef of Seattle's great Le Pichet, and one from PCC that sounds really good.
I wrote about asparagus, my family, and especially my dad (and soup) earlier this week, and now I’m kind of out of words for the moment. (Thank you so, so much to everybody for your sympathies, and empathies — to be less alone in our losses is maybe the only balm.)
But as we get into the tail end of asparagus season — as it heats up in Eastern Washington, the asparagus will eventually go to seed — there are a couple more asparagus recipes you might want to try. Nothing too elaborate, both really, really good.
First, this recent recipe for Butter-Braised Asparagus from The New York Times is basically just-past-blanched asparagus with a fast-and-easy but rich-and-lemony sauce. (I used a minced ramp instead of the herbs, which made for a more peppery taste; chives would probably be good, too.)
Then there’s this recipe for Yakima Aparagus with Pine Nuts, Scallions, and Chevre Vinaigrette from chef Jim Drohman, of Seattle’s great Le Pichet and Cafe Presse. (Are you aware of his trove of recipes online? One of your very favorites might be there, like a mini-miracle. The asparagus on the current Cafe Presse menu, with ras el hanout grilled prawns and herb-candied lemon labneh, also sounds incredible.) This dressing is a little more tricked out, but it’s commensurately delicious (and applicable to any kind of vegetable or salad, so you might want to double it and pour it all over your life for the next couple days). He has “toasted” just quietly in parentheses in the recipe, but “Always toast your nuts” is a Drohman rule of cooking. You can do it over medium heat in a small cast-iron pan or another skillet, stirring a little and being watchful for burning.
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Speaking of asparagus and pine nuts, this Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad recipe from PCC also intrigues. Using a veggie peeler to make ribbons of raw asparagus for a salad is the kind of thing my family would balk at, but I bet if you put it in front of them, they’d have to begrudgingly approve while they ate it all up.