Discover more from the smitten kitchen digest
spring spargelzeit! (asparagus season)
plus: hash brown patties
Monday, May 1, 2023
I enjoyed this brunch service video so much. [Bon Appetít YouTube]
Goodbye to the Bread Basket. Hello to the Bread Course. [NYTimes, unlocked]
Please Eat In The Library [Taste]
I know, I know: Spargle-who, Deb? It’s a fair question. I am almost certain I cannot even pronounce it correctly, but I’m delighted by it just the same. Spargelzeit marks the annual springtime asparagus harvest in Germany, celebrated between mid-April and late June with a level of vigor I find endlessly charming. But I totally get it. After a long winter when absolutely nothing emerges from frozen soil, asparagus’s arrival feels like an event, so why not let it be one? And while in the US we favor the more bitter green asparagus over Germany’s revered white asparagus, I still think its arrival over the last two weeks in NYC deserves a bit of fanfare — perhaps festivals? themed marathons? special machines in grocery stores? Hm, or just a few recipe suggestions you could take this week, wherever you harvest your stalks (Trader Joe’s counts!)
Your aspiring Spargelfrau (asparagus queen),
I’ve written three cookbooks and I’m a tiny bit biased but I think you, or someone you know who likes to cook or wants to start, would love them all.
Cookbook giveaway (hurry!): My publishers are giving away five sets of my three cookbooks in celebration of Mother’s Day — winners can send the gift to anyone you’d like. This sweepstakes is available to U.S. residents only (these are FTC rules; we do not mean to exclude!). The deadline to enter 11:59pm (ET) on May 1 (today!), so hurry!
Event: While book tour events have otherwise slowed down, I will be in New Jersey at the Montclair Literary Festival on Saturday, May 6th.
New: The perfect homemade hash brown patty: crisp and so fuss-free, it's almost baffling. This is my absolutely favorite raft for an egg, or the base of a salad-y lunchtime avocado "toast" -- I hope you're inspired!
Perfectly cooked, crisp-tender, bright green asparagus doused in olive oil, lemon juice, crunchy salt, pepper flakes, and swooped through mayo (but you can use any dressing you like) is my favorite way to accidentally inhale a pound of spears. I can't stop making it, so I have to pass it on.
Ribboned asparagus (requires no trimming or parcooking), crumbled goat cheese (requires no grating) and optional crisped (in the final skillet) prosciutto make a quick spring frittata so easy, you’ll want it again tomorrow.
This galette uses the simplest techniques (a quick dough, salted asparagus) and most impactful flavors (lemon, sharp cheese, and heat), to taste like a bright, flavorful nest of spring, so good for brunch, lunch, and picnics.
Did you know that Jacques Pépin has a recipe for a 6-minute one-pan sauté that makes a spring weeknight meal so gorgeous, I kind of want to paint it? Crunchy, spicy and colorful, this is my kind of fast food.
Turns out, goat cheese makes a shockingly simple but effective creamy pasta sauce with asparagus and lemon, and since it takes only 20 minutes to make, you'll have more time left over to obsess over this week’s episode of Succession, or at least that's the way this recipe math sorts out for me.
Down with red sauce hegemony! Thinly shaved asparagus tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and piled onto a cheesy pizza is teeming with tangled grassy spring deliciousness (and extra-amazing with an egg on top, in case you were wondering).
This is my favorite asparagus salad: fresh, green, crunchy, and bright. I add chopped medium-cooked eggs and eat it on toast, on matzo, or right out of the bowl. Repeat again tomorrow, or for as long as good asparagus lasts.
The pistachio cake of my dreams is absolutely green with pistachio intensity, uncluttered by many extraneous flavors, and requires no prepared paste, multiple bowls or finicky steps. It's that good.
Bake a week of breakfasts today and have more time to do Important Things -- like sleeping in? A girl can dream!
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. I recently added several new favorites I’ve bought in the last year. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!