Spring has sprung, or whatever. Apparently nobody told Florida.
Always the thorn in America’s side, Florida made the executive decision to fast track summer. It’s already stifling, muggy and five kinds of uncomfortable. I’m convinced the mosquito union paid somebody off.
Frankly, I’m not ready for summer yet. My freezer isn’t filled with popsicles. The peaches at the market taste like rubber. Summer clothes have not entered my rotation. I’ve yet to prepare for swimsuit season. Okay, full disclosure, I never have nor will I ever “prepare for swimsuit season”. Regardless, this is crap! I’ve been cheated!
But perhaps spring is just a state of mind. Maybe I don’t need cool, sunny (and reasonable) weather to be happy in April. Florida certainly can’t stop me from enjoying spring produce, even if I have to eat it huddled in front of an air conditioning vent.
It’s certainly the time for asparagus. My beloved, quirky, insanely creative and vegetarian friend Tracie surprised me at a party with this wonderful salad of tender asparagus, sweet edamame, fresh mint, and aged parmesan. Spring in a damn bowl, take that Florida!
Asparagus, Edamame and Mint Salad Recipe
(inspired by Tracie P)
2 lbs asparagus, trimmed of woody stems
1 c shelled edamame
2 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt (separated)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (SEE NOTE)
1/4 c parmigiana reggiano, shaved (use a peeler)
1/4 c fresh mint, torn into pieces
For step-by-step photos of this recipe, check out the Facebook page.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and cut the asparagus into 3″ pieces.
Add 2 tbsp salt to the boiling water. Add asparagus to the boiling water. For thin stalks, blanch for 2m. For thicker stalks, blanch for 4-5m. Add edamame to water and cook for 1 more minute. Asparagus should be slightly tender on the outside, but still have a bite to it. Drain the asparagus and edamame, then transfer to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
Drain the asparagus and edamame once cool. In a large bowl, toss together the asparagus, edamame, extra virgin olive oil, mint, 1/2 tsp salt and half the parmigiana. Finish with remaining parmigiana and serve.
Notes for your perusal
If you have some super special olive oil hanging around your pantry that is being saved for when the queen comes by, this is the time to use it. I hate to break it to you, but the queen ain’t coming by. This salad really shines when really good olive oil is used, and there is no time like the present.