It’s official. Spring is finally here! And remember how just a few days ago I was whining about I hadn’t seen a blue sky in weeks? Well, no more than a few hours after posting, things finally cleared up here in Portland and I got my blue sky. I guess life is funny like that.
In celebration of this budding Season of Love, I’ve delved into a brand new cookbook sent from Louisiana with love from my mom. The cookbook, called The Herbfarm Cookbook by Seattle chef Jerry Traunfeld, is exactly as it sounds: A collection of recipes that celebrates all things herb in the kitchen.
I felt it only appropriate to highlight something green in honor of the first day of Spring and Traunfeld’s asparagus with crispy sage were just the right place to start. These asparagus are first roasted in the oven, a technique that Traunfeld says lays the foundation to receive the dressing. They are then tossed with the fresh, bright flavors of a lemon and sage dressing. Once plated, they’re topped off with crispy fried sage and creamy parmesan curls.
Each asparagus radiates sunshine, end to end. And each bite tastes like springtime on a fork.
Enjoy and happy spring from me and my snow-loving pup who misses winter already! Crazy dog!
Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Fried Sage
- 1 pound of fresh asparagus
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage
- 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
- vegetable oil for frying sage, about 1 cup
- 35 fresh sage leaves, divided into 3 parts of 25 leaves, 5 leaves and 5 leaves
- parmigiano-reggiano cheese to taste, shaved into curls
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
While oven is preheating, fry the sage. Pour the vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet (so that oil comes up approximately 1 inch on the skillet) and heat on medium to medium-high until you start to notice the oil getting a swirly, glassy look. This is when you know it’s hot enough to fry. Add 25 sage leaves to it, making sure the leaves have been patted dry before adding. Fry for 15-30 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon, and place on paper towels to dry. Make sure your leaves do not burn! This is important and easy to do. They will crisp up as they sit on the paper towel while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Cut the bottom 2 inches off of the asparagus so that only the deep green parts remain. Chop 5 sage leaves and toss with the asparagus along with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread them on a large banking sheet and roast for approximately 4-8 minutes (depending on thickness).
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, the last 5 sage leaves (chopped), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and fresh black pepper. Whisk in olive oil slowly.
This can all be done in advance, however, you should wait to combine everything until you’re ready to serve.
Once you’re ready to serve, toss the asparagus with the dressing. Top with fried sage leaves (crumbled using your hands or left whole) and parmigiano-reggiano curls.
Adapted from Jerry Traunfeld’s Herbfarm Cookbook.