The flavors of spring.
My yoga teacher is teaching us the ancient Hindu Rasas―a conceptualization of nine different emotions and how they play into our approach to living. They include: Love, Joy, Anger, Peace, Wonder, Courage, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust. Today we examined Courage. During our class, it meant cultivating the courage to move into some deep back bends. Back bends are difficult for many people, myself included. I’m not naturally limber in my spine and just the preparation for a deep backbend can be challenging. Back bending also challenges us to have the courage to explore what is behind us. Whether it be a wall to reach to for support or another student spotting us to safety, it takes courage to trust that what or who we cannot see is really there―that the support will be there when we need it to shield us from possible injury or even embarrassment when things don’t go right. It’s a wild challenge.
Off the mat, each day is filled with little challenges that take courage to face. Waking every morning is an act of courage. Keeping a commitment to tending family and garden are acts of courage. Taking a stand for honesty and fairness in a political climate that is feeding us the opposite, takes courage. Spring, the season of transition, takes the courage to believe everything will sprout and come alive again. We need to see past the snow melting and the mud under our feet, to trust that soon all will be fragrant and welcoming.
One of my favorite signs of spring is the asparagus showing up at the markets. Those green stalks are what I crave this time of year. This salad of Roasted Asparagus with Spring Greens is perfect for this moment. The asparagus is roasted with a bit of olive oil until colorful and tender, then topped with fresh lemon zest and juice, some roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, and spring greens. It’s a light meal fully on its own. Or try it with a loaf of bread and cheese, some chilled ale, and fresh fruit for dessert. Enjoy the fresh pleasure of this simple salad.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Note: The recipe for this delicious dish follows. All the ingredients can be purchased at the Hanover Consumer COOP. The decorative platter was made by Veronica DeLay of Tocco Terra Pottery in Woodstock, Vermont. You can view another version of this post here.
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
1 large bunches asparagus, trimmed and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
¼ cup prepared oven roasted tomatoes with their oil
Handful slivered basil
Handful microgreens or pea shoots
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the asparagus evenly on the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Place the cooled asparagus on a decorative serving platter. Sprinkle with lemon zest and juice.
- Top with the roasted tomatoes and oil, followed by the basil and greens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve and enjoy. #uvfoodie