Asperges au parmesan

asparagus parmesan4There are so many beautiful things to be done with asparagus in the springtime that sometimes it’s hard to choose. In a quiche? In an omelet? Wrapped in a crêpe with melted cheese? Served in solitary splendor as a first course with a vinaigrette? Braised to a rich and savory brownness? At a recent dinner party, I decided to experiment and combined this spring’s first asparagus with parmesan and nut-brown melted butter. To applause…

Asperges au parmesan / Asparagus with parmesan

One of the many appealing aspects of asparagus is its beauty — the elegant fresh green spears will enliven any platter. Another is its history. People have been serving asparagus since at least 3000 B.C. when Egyptians depicted it on a frieze. As I’m currently studying early humans, I often try to imagine their mealtimes — and that frieze is proof of their good taste. Finally, the health benefits of eating asparagus have been recognized since the days of the ancient Greeks, and some societies considered it an aphrodisiac. Here in France, Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV, liked to be served what she called “love tips” (points d’amour). I can’t vouch for asparagus as an aphrodisiac, but certainly it is a source of pleasure in itself. And that’s enough for me. Happy cooking!


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