Thursday, March 23, 2017

Asparagus Season

We have gone to daylight savings time and the calendar said that this past Monday was the first day of spring, but many days have still been chilly and last night the temperature was in the upper 30s, so winter is having trouble letting go. Friday is supposed to bring a big storm with a lot of rain and maybe some thunder and lightning. Even so, things keep blooming. The plum trees are finished with their flowers and are sending out lots of lovely light green leaves. The pear trees are in bloom right now and the apples are in the bud stage, ready to bust out all over this weekend if it warms up a bit. This afternoon I re-potted some of the squash seedlings into larger pots since they were getting too big for the tiny cells of the seed starting trays. The tomatoes will need to be re-potted soon. Spring is all around.

One of the joys of spring are the fresh asparagus that show up in every market, often at a reasonable price. I love them just steamed lightly, but they are great grilled with just a mist of olive oil to keep them from sticking, in an omelet, added to a stir fry, as part of a pasta dish, with Parmesan cheese and ricotta, and even as the star of a yummy bread.

Today I made a flatbread with halved asparagus spears that I cut into 2-inch long pieces. First down on the parchment was a sourdough pizza dough made with Italian 00 flour instead of all-purpose flour. It is very easy to work with, stretches thin for a nice crust, and tastes great, too. On top of that I put some almond milk ricotta cheese (thank you T-Rose for helping me find it at Community Market), very thin slivers of red onion, and the prepared asparagus. A drizzle of olive oil finished it up, ready for baking in a hot oven. Since Sweetie and I prefer different amounts of salt and pepper, we added it at the table. I used my baking stone, well pre-heated, and slid the parchment paper holding the flatbread right onto the stone. You get a really nice bottom crust that way.

The asparagus flatbread went really well with a green salad that had fresh orange segments and avocado, dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. What did you have tonight?

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