Hadley Grass

It’s been asparagus season here in Western Mass for about two weeks, and that means it’s nearly over. There have been a number of asparagus festivals, though sadly I’ve missed them. Instead of partying with them, I’ve just been eating them. I try to get them wherever I can – off the side of the road (well, from the back of people’s pick up trucks, where they sell them for $3.50), at farmers’ markets… and actually that’s it. There are a lot of informal ‘roadside stands’ around here.

Today I learned something about asparagus that I had never before heard. You need to store them standing up, like so, to keep them fresh. Don’t let them sit on their side. Who knew?

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I bought this bunch of asparagus from an awesome farmer woman at the market that I’m running. At said market today, I accidentally did not eat lunch. This never happens to me. It was strange. So for dinner, I made up for my missed nutrients/calories by eating the best ingredients in my fridge: ridiculously good ricotta that I got in Vermont, asparagus, the world’s most beautiful spinach, and some arugula that was honestly about to go bad.

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Pasta with Ricotta and Asparagus
Makes 1 serving

  1. Cook your pasta as directed. Reserve a cup of pasta water.
  2. Blanch asparagus by boiling in salted water for 2-3 minutes, then immediately transferring to an ice/cold water bath. Cut into small pieces.
  3. Put about ¼ cup ricotta into your serving dish. Add smashed garlic if desired. Add spoonfuls of pasta water, stirring as you go, until it reaches a consistency on the edge of thick and thin. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add about ½ tsp lemon zest, stir.
  4. Stir in pasta and asparagus. Serve with a side of garlicy greens, as much as you can.

This past Monday, I bought some asparagus from a road side stand and accidentally did not eat it all immediately. I had a good handful left, so today I decided to ferment it. I used this recipe as a guide: Pickled Asparagus with Lemon

pickles

I’ll report on how it turned out in a week or two! Here’s to keeping asparagus season going just a little while longer…

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