today, the sun. and it feels just like they said it would. at the top of the stairs i see her standing there and she is the sky. she is the sky and she is wearing spring effortlessly today. today she’ll turn the mud into clay and provoke the hedgerows to flower. she doesn’t make excuses about where she’s been, but now she’s here. i am the supplicant gardener and she is the answer. both humbled and gracious, the second of april feels good.
the days are curiously gaining light and the market is ripening. time spent not fondling the final murmurs of winter citrus has been lent to casually eyeing the baskets and arms of those surrounding me. ruby berries, green asparagus, feathery fennel. handfuls of beans and peas, heads of cabbage, bouquets of spinach. yes neighbors, do shake off the snow. leave the squalls for yesterday and quicken the heart today. this energy is welcomed and new rituals are being born. a solar shower and strong cup of coffee, an old song and a familiar tune.
- 1½ lb asparagus
- 1½ tbl butter
- kosher salt + black pepper
- juice of 3 blood oranges + ¼ tsp zest
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup marcona almonds
- dill fronds
- prepare asparagus by trimming off ends too woody. in a large heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron pan heat 1 tbl of butter. when butter foams add asparagus and roll to coat evenly. add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. over medium heat, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. evenly cooked spears will be easily pierced by a fork and will retain their deep green color.
- in a small pot heat the blood orange juice until reduced to about 3 tbl. whisk in blood orange zest and remaining butter.
- in a separate pot, combine the olive oil and almonds and heat slowly over very low. cook 10-15 minutes until the almonds have reached a golden hue.carefully remove almonds from oil and leave to blot on a paper towel. (reserve oil for other culinary adventures).
- serve pan-fried asparagus with blood orange sauce, almonds, and dill.