These Spring Recipes Are What I Cook When I’m Impatient For Asparagus

Bi-weekly Bon Appétit Associate Editor Christina Chaey writes about what she’s currently cooking. Pro tip: if you can Sign up for the Healthyish newsletterYou will get the ball before anyone else.

Every year around this time, I visit a handful of spring poems that I bookmarked while studying, very much into National Poetry Month, and smoke Djarum Blacks. I’ve left my clove-cigarette days behind, but my love for too “The Seven of Pentacles” by Marge Piercy Remains. It’s about appreciating the waiting time before a harvest, when all you can do is be patient and trust things to happen even if you can’t see, hear, or feel them at work:

Connections are made slowly, sometimes growing underground.
You can’t always tell what is happening.
More than half of the tree is distributed in the ground under your feet.
Enter quietly like the earthworm that does not blow a trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that overthrows the tree.
Spread like the pumpkin plant that overran the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and make sugar with the sun.

At the end of the longest season of the longest year, in the middle of Late-stage pandemic burnoutIt’s tempting to look back on the past 12 months and feel like I haven’t done a lot. But then I remember that it’s just burnout. My little earthworm army has been working hard all along, and maybe it’s time to give them some credit.

‘Open it up!

Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

What I cook now:

For those of us who love to cook, it’s not really spring until the arrival of your favorite early-season products. To the Basically editor Sarah Jampel, they’re pink rhubarb stalks (make them Rhubarb-brown butter bars as soon as you find some). For many chefs, it’s fussy beans and even more awkward artichokes. And for me it is my beloved asparagus, or ‘gus, which I always think will show up in the markets here in New York in early April, but doesn’t seem to show up until the end of the month. If you have a hot tip for me, please drop me a line so I can do that Black pepper tofu and asparagus AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

In the meantime, I’ve loaded my plate with lots and lots of greens at every meal: bitter dandelion greens and ripe spinach, withered in a bowl of Mina Stoneis perfect Chickpeas;; Broccoli fritters;; great green salads with every meal; Samin Nosrat‘s Spinach and coriander soup thickened with a scoop of tahini. They all do more than the job.

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Jack

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