The scent of spring is in the air! I know it was officially last week, but last week we got 6-8 inches of snow! Today, the scent of the ocean is sweet, and this morning I had asparagus in my Miso Soup for the first time since last June. It’s a little early. I’d been waiting for organic asparagus from California, but bit the bullet and bought an organic bunch from Mexico. Of course they’re bundled with purple rubber bands! When you pick out your first bunch of the season notice the aubergine tones of the little “leaves.” (Inclusion of the rubberband ball is another unashamed advocation for starting your own! Begin around an old golf or styrofoam ball if it’s easier than clumping old bands or string.) So, in addition to looking, smelling, and feeling (48F) like spring, it also “tasted” like spring this morning.
Many spent yesterday with family and friends celebrating Easter at breakfast, brunch, lunch, and/or dinner. Hopefully it included an extra slice of whatever. Hopefully you made GF Hot Cross Buns and shared them with all the non-GF guests! In the spirit of turning the corner on spring, and squashing qualms about overindulgence, here’s another plug for starting your day with Miso Soup!
If you add asparagus, use these tips:
1. Wash, then break off the tough bottoms. Individual spears tell us (where) if one holds the bottom end in one hand and (half) the rest in the other, making a bending, snapping motion. The spear will break where it needs to. (Peel or slice the bottoms if you’re going to steam or grill them and serve whole.)
2. If you’re adding them to your soup, thinly slice one spear per serving on the diagonal. Put the slices in the bottom of your soup bowl and ladle the hot, finished soup over them. The heat from the soup will cook the asparagus “al dente” while retaining all the flavor.
Note: to steam asparagus perfectly: bring water to boil in a large stainless steel pot fitted with a classic, blossom shaped steamer. The water should just reach the bottom of the steamer. Using tongs, distribute the asparagus spears evenly onto the steamer the pot, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove immediately from the pan and rinse with cold water to suspend the cooking.
This is a great way to start the day: promise!