Friday, April 06, 2007

Spring cravings

The sky is blue, the sun is shining and it's warm enough to sit outside - in short, it spring and spring inevitably makes me crave spring-like (and sometimes, I admit, summer-like, because, to be honest, spring inevitably makes me crave summer...) food. Last week, I couldn't get the thought of green asparagus out of my head and in the end, I succumbed to the temptation. Temptation because the asparagus I bought had been imported from the other side of the world and was outrageously expensive (what a surprise). I do feel a bit guilty about it as I generally try to avoid produce from far-flung countries but I just wanted it so badly - well, at least I think my appetite has been satiated until the (almost) local asparagus from France, Spain and Germany is on sale. Here's what I made with my first bunch:

Oven-baked asparagus with feta (serves 2-3)

  • one large bunch green asparagus spears (1 kg)
  • 1 dl olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, slightly crushed
  • a litte dried oregano, crumbled
  • some dried chili, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, grated zest and juice
  • salt
  • 80g feta cheese
Wash the asparagus and cut off about 5cm from the stem. Arrange in one layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, gently heat the olive oil, add the garlic, chili, oregano and lemon zest and let the oil infuse for five minutes over a very low heat. Remove from the heat and let cool a lighty. Discard the garlic and pour the oil over the asparagus, making sure all the spears get evenly coated. Crumble the feta cheese on top and bake in the preheated oven (180°) for about twenty minutes. Serve with bread. Leftovers are great eaten cold the next day.

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