It’s been a while since I’ve been here. I’ve missed this blog, but I was forced by life to take a break (does that sound familiar to you?). I have tons and tons of recipes waiting to be published, so many great pictures and wonderful tastes. Funny enough, I decided to come back with a recipe from today’s lunch, maybe because the smell of baked asparagus still lingers in my nostrils. Although I am a vegetarian I am not the biggest fan of green food (I can’t believe I’ve just said that) and all greens need to be really-really tasty for me to like them. I have particular issues with asparagus, broccoli and green beans (the vegetarians of the world are now rolling their eyes in contempt) and it took me some time to figure out how to eat them and like them. Actually, I’m like a spoiled 5-year-old, so this must sound really familiar to you mums out there.
I like my greens two-ways: steamed and slammed with yummy sauces (like quality soy sauces or balsamic vinegar) or baked. Baking is KING. There’s a certain roast to the baked veggies, a certain umami that just takes you by surprise and elevates your dish. If the asparagus is really tender, you don’t even need to blanch it, just peel it and pop it in the oven. Love-love-love!
So, what’s this dish all about? It’s about taking a bunch of fresh asparagus spears, cutting off their ends, peeling the spears gently with a peeler, pairing them with slices of juicy zucchini, then giving them a well-deserved olive oil bath (like, 4-5 tablespoons, be generous, fat is tasty :). Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and bake at 370F for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
I’ve paired my blessed green veggies with a creamy, silky smooth (I can’t even say these words without thinking about Adam Sandler in Zohan) poached egg and the juice of half a lemon, from my mother’s free-range hens. I already blogged about how to make the perfect poached egg, so I’ll just leave you here with the link (quite useful, I might add). Do NOT skip the lemon juice, I repeat: do NOT skip the lemon juice. It just complements the entire mix perfectly and adds depth to the flavours.
Add to that a tomato salad with onions and radishes and THIS IS IT! If you are vegan and prefer to skip the poached egg, a good idea is to pair the asparagus with a vegan garlicky mayo. It’s not hard to make from scratch. Just blend 4 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of mustard, some sea salt and black pepper and 1 clove garlic. Ready in 20 seconds!
I hope you enjoy this meal and share it with a very special loved one: it’s sure to impress.
Love and asparagus!