Who else, besides me, was lulled into thinking that spring is swiftly on its way? Is everyone raising their hands? Yep, that was me too, in sandals and tank tops. You know, I even moved my winter clothes into storage and pulled out the summer ones. And then, just like that, the weather decided that it was toying with us and pulled a switcheroo. This weekend, in New York – HOLY COLD! I mean, winter cold. I had to dig in my closet again for the puffer jacket and the Uggs. Oh weather, stop being so fickle, will you? This, of course, now means that my closet has stuff splayed out all over the place. Winter and summer stuff all mixed together in complete disarray. I just don’t know what to do with it all, but the mess is killing me.
I know that East Coast folks are waaaaay overdue for their spring. We had a long winter and we’re ready. Ready for summer dresses and flip flops and going outside with our hair wet. We’re ready for picnics in the park, for lazy strolls at night after dinner, for not having to wear a dozen layers. Please. Let. Spring. Come.
In celebration of the false spring (because we know now we’ve been had), but of course believing this was true spring, I made this roasted asparagus salad because what else says spring like asparagus? It was lemony, it was fresh, it had the bite of watercress. And it was the perfect way to usher in the new season, which, of course, turned out to be a cruel joke.
You could make this tomorrow night for the first night of the Passover and omit the cheese if you’re serving a meat course following. Honestly, it works either way. And I often find that what is missing from the Passover table is a healthy dose of greens. Greens I sorely miss and crave right about this time of year. The salad is refreshing and subtle and kind of everything you want a salad to be. Plus the horseradishy bite of the watercress is a bit reminiscent of maror.
If you’re looking for more Passover ideas, here are a few from the archives:
And so for those celebrating, I hope your Passover Seder is warm and wonderful; full of joy and introspection.
Spring Salad with Roasted Asparagus
Adapted from Food & Wine
1 lb medium asparagus
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
10 oz watercress
Parmiggiano-Reggiano shaved into curls with a vegetable peeler
Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the coated asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the asparagus for about 8 minutes – until just tender and the tips start turning brown.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large salad bowl, toss the watercress with most of the dressing (reserve 2 tbsp of the dressing). Arrange the salad on places and top the salad with the roasted asparagus. Sprinkle cheese curls on top of the asparagus.
Drizzle the remaining dressing over the asparagus and serve immediately.