For Your Surplus of Fresh Asparagus
As if THAT ever happens.
ASPARAGUS IS NOT THE KIND OF VEGETABLE I ever want to run out of— even after this planet finally stops spinning, and we are all but stardust once again. As we float around in space in our new and more diffuse particulate forms, while everyone else is worrying about how we’ll rejoin the forward motion of the universe, I’ll probably still be thinking about where to get more asparagus.
Maybe that sounds dramatic, but you should see me, in my present human form, at the farmer’s market or grocer, pushing people out of the way to get the nicest looking spears. It’s a wonder no one’s ever called the cops.
So I occasionally end up with asparagus that needs to be eaten sooner rather than later. Meaning a bunch that has been in the fridge longer than is ideal, since I forgot about it, because my fridge is so overstuffed.
For a lot of you, presentation is important when it comes to asparagus. Witness my British friend Bumble Ward’s mother’s asparagus, about which she writes on Instagram: “Proper English asparagus prepped by my Mamma (who doesn’t approve of the snapping technique and meticulously carved each one). Such a treat. Remember to tip the asparagus plate on your fork and to eat with your fingers.”
This makes me feel like a beast, considering I’ll steam and eat a big messy pile of them after they’ve gone downhill, paying absolutely no attention to how they look, or the plate, or tipping the plate. (Which is presumably to let the clarified butter pool, for dipping the asparagus tips.)
But my favorite way of dispatching late-life asparagus—I’m not talking about shriveled or rotty asparagus, just spears that are less pristine than most of us would like—is more civilized.
I’ll make my cream of asparagus soup. It’s hard to think of a nicer summer supper, especially if you accompany it with some Parmesan crisps and a plain salad of soft lettuces lightly dressed in lemon juice and olive oil.
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