Asparagus, Plain and Simple

Let me discuss asparagus. At the market last week just one farmer/vendor still had some, though he said this was the last of the season. I do love asparagus. I eat it only when it is local and fresh, picked that morning by the farmer and brought by him to the market for me to buy in the afternoon. (One does not, of course, eat asparagus any other time of year, nor does one ever buy asparagus imported from Mexico or Chile. Asparagus is a seasonal, local crop. Period.)


When it comes to our local farmers' markets, price is no object. I am not a thrifty shopper at the market. I load up my market purse with a pile of twenties and distribute them freely to the fine farmers who bring their produce to the city.


Here's what I do with asparagus: nothing much. When I start making supper I put a quarter-inch of water in the skillet and bring it to a boil while I snap off the bottom ends of eight or ten spears (they break at exactly the right place for tenderness) and rinse them. Then I stick them in the pan, cover it, and set my little timer for two minutes, leaving the heat on high. After two minutes I turn off the heat, scoop the spears onto a plate, and quickly wash the skillet to make things easier for the One who Washes the Dishes After Dinner. Then, one spear after another, I eat all my asparagus while I cook the rest of the meal.


Cookbooks try to persuade me to "do something" with my asparagus. Dress it with butter and lemon or an olive oil vinaigrette or mayonnaise or even baked rounds of herbed goat cheese. Or a beurre blanc sauce or hollandaise (two fancy ways to eat butter, as if one needed an excuse). But I never do any of these things, because the asparagus has all been eaten before I remember.


DinoVino doesn't like asparagus much, so he insists I eat it all. Every season—every spring—I bring home several bunches a week from the local farmers' market and I eat it all, stalk by stalk, in the privacy of my little kitchen, as I prepare the evening meal for two.


Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor
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