Oh lawdy, how time has passed! It seemed this month would never come to an end when Italy went on a soft lockdown several weeks ago. But like all good things that come to those who wait, restrictions have been eased as the number of new cases continue to go down. I don’t keep up with what we can or can’t do these days; it won’t matter anyway if those numbers do another reverse due to kids getting back to school or people getting out and about.
Meanwhile, the vaccination process continues at a snail’s pace. My nonagerian father-in-law got his first Pfizer shot nearly 2 weeks ago and that alone is a huge relief for us.
Asparagus season is upon us and currently our favorite way of eating them is in this simple layered salad. The original recipe is from a magazine (delicious Australia) back in 2019. Reading the ingredient list was like looking at the must-have staples in my fridge and pantry, so this version is going to look like grabbing stuff on hand for a quick meal.
Asparagus spears, preferably the slim type
Pickled carrot ribbons (pickling liquid is equal parts water, vinegar and sugar)
Thinly sliced shallots marinated in fresh lemon juice (I use this on my ‘Summer’ pizza recipe)
Ricotta (never without it)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Chopped, toasted pistachio nuts
Salt & black pepper
So the only thing you need to cook is the asparagus spears (after snapping off the woody stem near the bottom). Simmer in salted water or steam in a vegetable basket until tender. Set aside to cool.
To serve, place a large dollop of fresh ricotta and spread it in a circle on a salad plate.
Place the cooked asparagus on top, then pickled carrots, and some marinated shallots.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Garnish with chopped pistachio, torn mint leaves, and serve.