April is the prime month for Asparagus!
I remember that back home in Europe the first Asparagus dishes were usually served around Easter. This was mostly the white one, which is widely known in Europe, but here in the US, or at least here in New York, the green ones, which are firmer, seem to be more widely distributed. Asparagus in general is a good source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins B6 and C. They have diuretic properties and will flush toxins and waste products out of the kidney (thereby helping to prevent kidney stones).
Asparagus is mostly served cooked (e.g. steamed, made into soups, or stir-fried), and sometimes pickled. Here, however, I want to share an easy to make raw asparagus recipe, in celebration of today’s Earth Day.
Asparagus Tartar with Chive, Pine Nuts, Lime and Cayenne
- 1 pound (450g) green asparagus
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- generous pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons roasted almond oil
- 1.5 oz (40g) chive, cut into small pieces
- zest of 2 organic limes, minced
- ⅓ cup (50g) pine nuts (for the topping)
- Wash the asparagus and then cut off the bottom third to get rid of the hard and wooden part of the stem. Carefully cut them in half lengthwise, and then cut each half again in half lengthwise. Bundle a few of these quartered asparagus together and cut into small pieces, about a sixteenth of an inch (or 2mm).
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together the salt, cayenne pepper and lime juice in a bowl. Then slowly whisk in the almond oil.
- Add asparagus, chive and lime zest to vinaigrette and mix thoroughly.
- Leave to marinate at least 2 hours at room temperature.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper before serving.
- Dress on a plate and top with whole pine nuts.
This fresh and light tartar is ideal for a warm spring evening or a quick lunch, either as an accompanying dish or simply by itself.