I love wholesome dinners that come together in under 30 minutes and use fresh seasonal produce. I can’t get enough of asparagus! Here it’s cooked up quickly with the pasta and combined with pan-seared salmon, peas (I used frozen, since we don’t have spring peas yet), and a creamy tarragon sauce. This one is easy enough for a weeknight (even our pre-schooler ate seconds!) but fancy enough for a special occasion.
To me, nothing brings out the flavor of asparagus like lemon. Here, an intensely lemony vinaigrette brightens some oven-roasted spears, still toothsome and vibrant green — a plateful of spring. Enjoy!
True story: After living in Bosnia for a few months, I once complained to friends how unappetizing I found the eggs there. “They smell like hay, and what’s up with that dark orange yolk?” I said. One friend, who had grown up on a farm in the U.S., started laughing. And then she laughed some more. And when she was able to breathe again, she gave me a little pat on the arm and said, “Laura. They have that smell because the hens are grass-fed. That’s a good thing. And the orange yolk means they’re fresh.”
Ah-ha! Well, I certainly felt dumb. I guess I had grown used to sanitized and odorless industrial eggs with pale yellow yolks. Sure enough, after a couple years in Bosnia, I came to love those farm-fresh eggs, as well as all the other abundant fresh produce there. My lesson: Sometimes it’s good to question your instincts.
It’s a little early for asparagus here in Germany, though buds are blossoming and fair-weather birds have returned, but we’re getting imported white asparagus from Greece with purple hues at their tips. Once steamed, the fat white spears turn buttery soft and sweet and go so nicely with a heaping of rich and lemony hollandaise sauce (made super easy with an immersion blender), a sprinkling of herbs (I used chervil here, but chives work well too) and coils of sliced ham. A plateful of flavors to usher in a glorious asparagus season!