I’m pressing the pause button on my make believe Autumn to embrace this Spring weather for a sec.
The weather was so gorgeous for a few whole days in a row this last week and it feels like it’s been forever since I could say that. I am so excited to be able to get out and enjoy some pure sunshine for a change. We have been walking into town every chance we get because you never know what the weather will do here and it might decide to go into another full month straight of pouring rain.
I’ve discovered what I think will become one of my favorite new weekend activities this season, prop hunting. Most people don’t really look at a food picture other than to note that the item being showcased looks good or not. They don’t pay attention to the props in the background that tell the story of the food and set the mood. As a person who has taken a lot of food pictures though, that is one of the first things I look at now. There is so much more that goes into food photography than you would think and it is most definitely not as easy as it looks. Random props can make all the difference in the world and I love finding those perfect items that can actually inspire an entire recipe.
Anyway, I did a little prop hunting the other day in town with Lela and one of my few English speaking friends here and we found some really cool items that I can’t wait to use. I know it’s strange to be excited about dishes and old vintage bottles but I am. We went into some restaurants and asked about things like beer bottles and stuff that they’re just throwing away anyway and a few places were kind enough to give us some things. I think we’re going to hit some antique shops next time and see what trashy treasures we can dig up. Spring is awesome.
I’m also really anxious for it to warm up and stay warm enough for window opening because, okay this is totally tmi, but there is so much moisture during the winter here that we have been fighting with mold issues for months. It’s been so frustrating trying to get rid of the black dustiness that wants to multiply in every dark corner of the wall. I’ve thought about just farming mushrooms in my bedroom the last few months because they would be right at home. Sorry, I don’t know why I’m telling you this. The point is that Spring is here and I’m so ready to welcome it, minus the fact that I wish it was coming in March, when it’s supposed to, and not September.
I kept it simple and made some asparagus for you guys today. Yes, that veggie that makes your pee smell weird and simply screams Spring time. I know it makes a lot of people want to gag but I happen to love it. If you get th fresh young spears of early Spring it can be so tender and delish. I cooked this batch just on the stove top with some lemon and garlic.
Which, by the way, do you guys ever cook and eat whole cloves of garlic? Oh my goodness, it is so good that way. I know you are probably thinking “gross, a whole mouthful of strong garlic!”, but it doesn’t taste anything like raw garlic when you cook it with other things. It gets so sweet and the flavor gets mild to the point of perfection. In fact, I have a hard time not wanting to just eat all the garlic and leave the rest.
This is a great side dish for all of your favorite Spring time meals. I know that asparagus is not in season for a lot of you and I’m sorry about that, but if you can’t get it right now you should at least still bookmark this recipe for when it is available and you’re wondering how to eat it. Cooking it with the citrus like gives it a freshness that goes perfect with warmer weather. It’s also light and healthy for those of you with the coming beach season on your mind.
Pan-Seared Lemon Garlic and Asparagus
Switch it up from those boring side dishes and and try this zesty, garlicy asparagus.
- 2 pounds a large bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 heads garlic peeled with ends trimmed
- 1 small lemon quartered
- salt & pepper to taste
Wash asparagus in cold water and pat dry very well. Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Add asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes per side until it starts to brown slightly. Add garlic cloves and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until garlic and asparagus are nicely browned. Add lemon and pour in about 1 inch of water then cover with lid.
Cook for 8 to 12 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and asparagus is tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.