Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

After two major rainstorms, spring finally feels here.

Weaved Asparagus Salad 3

On the one hand, I can’t help but smile ear-to-ear. I love this sun-filled apartment (except that I don’t have blinds yet and I’m being woken by blinding light at 5am). I feel rejuvenated, infused with energy, and pumped with extra gas (not the kind from beans)! I feel like I can take on the world, or at least improve my photography now that I can take pictures with plenty of natural light. Life seems a little too perfect at moments, but then I’m reminded of how I don’t have a kitchen.

When I can’t even find a spoon in the mornings to stir my coffee with, I always tell myself, today, we’re going to get all the renovation plans done. But it just isn’t that simple. There so many variables and so many are contingent on other variables. First is setting dates: We have to submit the alteration plans to our condo board, who have to approve our plans and the starting dates. The dates have to be coordinated with our general contractor, our cabinet makers, and the purchasing and delivery of appliances. Then, there is a possible union strike coming this month (if you live in an apartment in NYC, you should’ve been notified by your building), so we decided to push plans back. Next, design: There’s functional and aesthetic needs and both Lon and I have to agree on it. The floor material and colors have to match our cabinets, and both have to match our countertops, and all have to match our appliance surfaces, and all have to fit in our space. If we move the stove here, then we need to move the sink there, then the fridge, etc. It’s all so intertwined.

Weaved Asparagus Salad 10

I bought asparagus and then it took me two long days to figure out what to do with them. (Don’t do that because they’re best eaten as soon as possible after being picked.) I’m not really sure why I thought to weave the asparagus but it might have to do with everyone sending Lon pictures of bacon mats. I figured they wouldn’t weave well whole, so these are sliced on a mandolin to give you nice flat pieces. I also like the way it looks because of the extra color variance, light green in the middle with darker green borders. It helps to use thicker and longer asparagus, and try to coordinate the widths and lengths. Luckily, this is no way as hard, and not half as many variables as renovating a kitchen. The weaving actually came together quite easily, needing only to weave 10 pieces together for a gorgeous plate.

I should mention that this is delicious too. It’s simple and elegant, showing off the abundant fresh asparagus now. A touch of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, some Parmesan shavings, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper is all you need to show off your seasonal spears.

Weaved Asparagus Salad

Weaved Asparagus Salad
~2 servings as side

  • 5 or 6 thick asparagus (preferably long)
  • wedge of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • shaved parmesan
  • flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions -

1. Break bottom ends of asparagus off at their natural breaking point. Blanch in salted water for about 1 minute. They should be bright green and al dente (you can cook extra and just taste one).

2. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain.

3. Slice with a mandolin to 1/4″ long slices (as pictured). The stem end goes through first. Each stalk with give you about 3 slices, but often the third will not be usable. (I just ate those pieces while I was working). You need 10 good pieces.

mandolin slicing asparagus 2 1/4 inch slices of asparagus

4. To weave them, start with one piece laid straight up. Place 5 pieces in a row, perpendicular to the first piece, alternating above and below the first straight-up piece.

weaving asparagus 1

5. The next piece will be parallel to the first piece, weaving above and below the 5 sideways pieces. When you weave it above and below, do the opposite of the first piece. See picture.

weaving asparagus 2

6. When you finish, the 10 pieces will look like this.

weaving asparagus 3

7. Squeeze some lemon on top. Drizzle with olive oil. Shave parmesan on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve.

Weaved Asparagus Salad 2

posted by jessica at 08:35 AM Filed under Italian, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.