So deeply, irrepressibly excited for the oncoming onslaught of spring vegetables. So much so that even the slightest glance at a bundle of peas, asparagus, or butter lettuce — no matter how wizened, unripe, or generally suspicious looking — results in the vegetables ending up in my hands, and coming home with me. It’s not quite time yet, but it will be, soon. And I’ll be ready.
1. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I had so much fun playing around with puntarelle, a bitter Roman vegetable similar to chicory. If you can find it, peel and trim its stalks, grate, and toss with an anchovy-garlic-lemon-oil dressing. It’s magnificent, full of bitterness, salt and crunch. Don’t forget the Pecorino.
2. A spring vegetable salad that turned into something slightly more wicked with the addition of shaved truffles, sunny-side up eggs, and smoked duck “bacon”. Decadence aside, I couldn’t ignore the nubile firmness of the freshly shucked peas, the tender crunch of the Boston lettuce, and the cool cucumber crescents. I garnished this with deep fried sage and a classically French lemon shallot-scallion vinaigrette.
3. Even my standard breakfast of eggs and toast gets livelier when paired with quick oven-roasted baby asparagus, sprinkled with minced garlic and covered with a squirt of lemon. (I draped a few slices of coppa over the stalks, too.) We couldn’t stop exclaiming about what a perfect breakfast it was, so simple and pure and good.