Shaved Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds, Pine Nuts & Shaved Parm

Asparagus is everywhere during the summer, and there are so many ways to cook with it. This is a really simple, clean & bright salad to use as a side for just about anything. Some lemon juice, toasted almonds & pine nuts, & shaved parm adds a little depth to it – this is delicious. 

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH TOASTED ALMONDS, PINE NUTS & SHAVED PARM (serves 4) – slightly adapted from the incomparable Smitten Kitchen
– 2 bundles asparagus (choose ones with ends that are tightly closed)
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 tbsp. of EVOO
– Kosher salt & fresh black pepper
– “curls” of fresh parm
– 1/4 C. mixture of thinly sliced almonds & pine nuts, toasted

1. Wash the asparagus, then peel them into thin ribbons with a sharp vegetable peeler.

Collyn, helping out in the kitchen

2. Throw away the tough ends, but save the middle parts to add to scrambled eggs tomorrow morning, etc. Add all the ribbons to a bowl with a paper towel to soak up any excess water.

3. Juice a lemon using a Rosle Citrus Reamer – which is one of the things I use most in cooking, then add a pinch of kosher salt & pepper. Add the EVOO.

4. Remove the paper towel from the bowl with the asparagus, then drizzle the lemon/EVOO mixture over everything.

5. Toast the almonds & pine nuts – bring a pan that isn’t non-stick to medium heat, add the almond slices, and cook for approx. 4 minutes, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they’re a golden brown. Remove from heat immediately to let cool a little bit.

6. Add the pine nut/almond mixture to the asparagus, shave thin little curls of fresh parmesan over the salad, and serve immediately.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

Is there any vegetable that roasting won’t make delicious?? Asparagus is great, but roasting it and adding a bit of lemon takes it to a whole other level. This is one of the quickest, tastiest side dishes you can make.  I would eat this for a snack.

– 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed – get thicker spears, if you can – these will hold up better during roasting
– zest of 1 lemon
– 1 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste (kosher is best here, or any other larger-grain salt)
– couple of grinds fresh black pepper
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– squeeze of lemon juice, for topping

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Trim the asparagus – you can kind of just bend them towards the bottom, and the “woodsy” part should snap off naturally.

3. In a large ziplock bag, combine the EVOO, lemon zest, and half of the salt & pepper.

4. Add asparagus spears to the bag, zip it, and roll the spears around inside the bag so they get covered with everything.

5. Add asparagus to a roasting pan in a single layer.  Top with the remaining kosher salt & pepper.

6. Roast for approx. 10 minutes, shaking the pan about halfway through to get them to roll around a bit and get all sides cooking.
7. Remove from the oven, squeeze a little lemon over them, and serve.

— Also, check out what some of my girlfriends and I did last night!  Indigo dyeing!!!  This was so much fun, and we got pretty creative, and I felt like I was back in summer camp, which was awesome.  There are some seriously talented people out there who do this “Shibori dyeing” (to clarify, we are not those people) – check out this blog for a little tutorial:  
After you dip these, even though the end color is indigo, the pieces come out kind of an acid green. So weird.
Some of our masterpieces!!  This was such a fun, and funny, craft project. Definitely worth the blue-stained fingernails today!

Breakfast Burritos!

I’ve never been much of a breakfast person. I tend to subscribe to the ´╗┐whole “food doesn’t fit into a specific time slot” theory of eating, which basically means that if I’m craving pancakes, it’s usually for dinner, and whatever leftovers I have from the night before (especially pasta), it’s what’s for breakfast.  That said, I am completely obsessed with breakfast burritos. Not only are the healthy, versatile, and filling, but you can make a whole batch of them and freeze them, then nuke them individually for maybe 2 minutes and your breakfast is ready to go. For those people who love sleep and consequently are pretty hurried in the morning (me), these are a great timesaver, and a much better option than the sodium breakfast sandwiches available at just about any of the places you can stop at on your ride in to work.
Ingredients (serving size can be whatever you want it to be – it’s usually 1.5 egg whites per burrito, and other ingredients to your desired filling, so this recipe made 8 burritos):
– Eggs
– Breakfast ham
– Vidalia onion, diced
– Asparagus, chopped
– Grated Cheddar
– Small whole-wheat wraps – don’t use the regular burrito size, because these will be enormous
– Butter, EVOO
– Kosher salt and pepper to taste

 1. Dice up 1 vidalia onion and maybe 1/2 a bunch of asparagus. Asparagus spears will naturally break off at the part of the stem that gets woody if you just bend it until it snaps.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When melted, add the asparagus and the onion, cook until soft. Remove from heat and transfer the asparagus/onion mixture to a plate.
3. Dice some breakfast ham, and add to the pan that the onions and asparagus were in. Cook until browned, then remove from heat and transfer ham to the plate with the asparagus/onion mixture.
4. Using that same pan, melt a small tab of butter and add eggs that have been whisked. I used mainly egg whites, maybe 1-2 egg yolks. Yolks are chock full of cholesterol, sure, but they mainly just gross me out. Scrambled eggs though – yummo! Once these are set, leave them in the pan but turn off the heat.
5. With your little assembly station ready (scrambled eggs, ham/onion/asparagus mixture, cheddar cheese, burritos), place one burrito on a flat surface, then add eggs, asparagus/ham/onions, and cheddar. I am pretty terrible at rolling burritos, so I can’t even tell you if this is where the ingredients are meant to be placed, or how to roll them well. I kind of just winged it, and they turned out fine, which means I’m sure you’ll be all set, too. 

6. Once you’ve rolled your burrito, roll it up in a paper towel (this will help it not get soggy when you microwave it, I find that Viva “choose-a-size” is perfect for smaller burritos), and then wrap that tightly in a piece of aluminum foil. Put the assembled, paper-toweled, foil-wrapped burritos in a freezer ziplock bag. 

When ready for breakfast, remove one of the burritos, remove the foil (as I learned from watching my babysitter when I was 6 microwave a hamburger still in foil, microwave + aluminum foil = bad news bears), and heat for 1 minute on one side, flip to the other side, and microwave for 1 minute more.

These are super tasty, and keep really well too. I thought that 1 burrito might be too little, but it ends up being a perfect breakfast portion for both me and Brad, which says enough!