Last weekend, I finished reading Matthew Amster-Burton’s Pretty Good Number One, a travelogue slash memoir slash love letter to Japanese food. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, it’s a book I’m sad to say I missed getting on board with, but I’ve now done my part by putting down $4.99 on Amazon. More on the book in second, but needless to say, it was the inspiration for the chicken katsu we had last night for dinner and for the asparagus w/ sesame-miso vinaigrette in today’s post.
Posts tagged ‘asparagus’
When you think of tamales, what’s the first filling you think of? Pork with salsa verde or green chile and cheese, maybe? How about asparagus and pepper jack? Drive east on 90 from Seattle and on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass in the Yakima Valley, there’s a tamale joint called Los Hernandez, famous for their asparagus and pepper jack tamales. People rave about ‘em.
It’s been four years and I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the seasons in the Pacific Northwest. I’m used to strawberries starting in late January, asparagus starting in April and lasting nearly to the fall, stone fruit starting in May, and then being socked in by June gloom. But if there’s one benefit to the long, cool spring we get in the Pacific Northwest, it’s an extended window to enjoy peas. Long after the southern climes are into their tomatoes, we’re still enjoying sugar snaps, English shelling peas, and snow peas. And when those sugar snaps are fresh — they’re sweet and crunchy…and there’s nothing like ‘em.
If you’re not already sitting in your car on your way to your Memorial Day weekend destination, you’re probably making your weekend grill plan. Usually, I’d be thinking burgers, maybe ribs, and mac salad, but not everyone around here eats mayo (I know – it erases practically an entire food group).
The other night we ordered pizza from Flying Pie (their Stromboli rocks!) and you’ve gotta have salad with pizza, right? This started out in my mind as an orzo salad…but then I discovered the pantry gremlins had made off with my orzo. So it turned into an Israeli couscous with corn, zucchini and asparagus salad.
The little Israeli couscous pearls have a nice chewiness to them that I like a lot more than their fine-grained brethren. You can see what you’re getting.
What’s great about this recipe is that it’s adaptable to what you’ve got on hand. Do a balsamic vinaigrette instead of citrus. Chiffonade (can that be a verb? I’m using it as a verb) some fresh basil and add that instead of parsley (or in addition to parsley). Add some pine nuts (or whatever nut you like). If you’re grilling this weekend, hit the veg with a little olive oil, S&P, grill ‘em up, let it cool, chop it into 1/2 in. dice and you’re good to go.
One note (and it’s a biggie!): Be sure to let the green veg cool after cooking. You don’t want the acid in the vinaigrette to steal that beautiful, bright green color. I’ve done it. Grey/brown/green asparagus — it’s not pretty.
Have a great long weekend!