Hi everyone, here's a new recipe for you to enjoy the best this season has to offer and by the best I do mean asparagus. I happen to be a big fan of this spring gem and I am always eagerly waiting all year long for it to appear in markets in spring. When it does, asparagus are dishes on the menu almost every day. That is till someone tells me to start obsessing with something else, but while these beauties are in season, rarely a week goes by without at least a few asparagus dishes.
Asparagus, with it’s mighty flavor, doesn’t need much to make a delicious plate. Usually it’s enough to steam a bunch and serve with poached eggs and vinaigrette on top or with a pinch of cayenne make a lovely soup which I probably would have done if I had know we’ll get snow end of April. Even for Swiss standards here, there is something very wrong about snowflakes having a party outside, when just a few days before we could dine al fresco. With a bit of luck we’ll hopefully get back into warm and blooming spring soon and when we do, this refreshing dish will be perfection to enjoy with a bit of chilled rose wine.
It’s very simple to toss together and pickled fennel can be made well in advance if needed, though a word of warning here: if you have never tried pickled fennel before, you should know it is completely addictive. I usually double the amount needed for the recipe, because by the time everything is ready to hit the table I usually have already nibbled my way through half of it. The simple salsa verde works not only here but for any recipe with cold meats or roasted vegetables.
Ingrediants, serves 2 Pickled fennel ½ large fennel or 1 small one, finely sliced 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar 3 ½ tbsp sugar pinch of sugar Roasted asparagus Bunch of asparagus 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and freshly grounded pepper Salsa verde 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley 5-8 basil leaves, finely chopped 1 lemon zest, finely grated 1 fat garlic clove, minced ½ cup extra virgin olive oil lemon juice, to taste salt and freshly grounded pepper 1 buffalo mozzarella
Prep Heat sugar, vinegar and salt till everything fully dissolves then pour over fennel Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes and chill. Preheat the oven to 200C/392F. On baking sheet lined tray toss asparagus with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 7-15 minutes, depending how thick the asparagus are. Mix all the ingredients for salsa verde, adding 1-2 tsp lemon juice, to taste. Serve roasted asparagus with buffalo mozzarella and pickled fennel, generously topped with salsa verde.
So if you love asparagus as much as I do, or even a little bit, this I can’t recommend enough to try this. I will be back again on May 25th with another recipe to celebrate what hopefully will be a sunny spring. - Gintare
(Recipe, Styling, Text, Photography: Gintare Marcel)