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Food columnist Lucy Pickett notes that the Valley’s annual asparagus craze has begun


Friday, May 11, 2018

A picture is worth a thousand words. (see above)

Last weekend as I was preparing to have a gathering for the Kentucky Derby, I dreamed of but had little hope that I might find fresh native asparagus to serve. As I drove down Bridge Road to the grocery store, lo and behold, there it was. Bins of beautiful, local, fresh green gold.

I screeched on the brakes and turned into the Fydenkevez Farm Stand and bought three bunches. It seemed like a lot at the time but I am lucky I did, because people acted like they had been shut in all winter with nothing but gruel and water, (It actually was that kind of winter). They scarfed up every piece.

I think I barely got one spear. But that’s OK because I went out on Sunday and got more.

I don’t think there is any bad way to cook native grass. Except maybe overcook it.

At this point in my life, I usually roast it in the oven or grill it. Sometimes boil it.

Every year I tell myself, make this with it or that, but for some reason I always resort to the simple methods that let the flavors shine through.

The season is short so get your grass on soon! I think I’ll get some tonight.

—LUCY

Ah, yes.

The green, green grass of spring. It is about time. We’ve already had it four times.

And I notice that I am finally learning to take it out of the cooking water or heat well before you might want to. I am talking exposing the stalks to whatever heat source you use for three or four minutes max.

Crunchy is good. Soggy is bad.

Latest recipe was homemade pasta primavera. Doesn’t get much better than that.

I bet you’re green with envy.

— LOU