Mother’s Day plans got me thinking about some of the so-called “liberating” trends for women.
Like canned foods, which were, and did, make it easier for housewives to get dinner on the table. They no longer had to clean and cook veggies, for example. All they had to do was open the can and heat the stuff in a pot. (I knew someone who cooked canned food in the can to save on pot cleaning.)
Unfortunately, although canned vegetables did save work and time, they weren’t very tasty. They were also mushy and salty and lacked the nutritional value of fresh produce.
It doesn’t take much time to clean and cook fresh asparagus. Just a matter of rinsing them and cutting off the woody bottom, then either steaming, poaching, grilling or roasting them for a few minutes.
In fact asparagus is one of the quickest and easiest vegetables to cook. We eat them regularly, sprinkled with a little lemon juice.
When I have more time I use asparagus for salad. Like this one:
Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 pound slim or medium asparagus spears
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool. While the nuts are baking, wash the asparagus and cut off the tough, woody ends. Place the asparagus in a skillet, add one cup of water, cover the pan, bring the water to a boil and cook over high heat for 4-6 minutes or until tender, but still crispy. Drain under cold water, wipe dry and place on a serving platter. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, mint and dill. Mix well and pour the dressing over the asparagus. Add the nuts and cheese and toss the ingredients to coat the asparagus completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Makes 4-6 servings