Most people I know are intimidated by dark leafy greens. They buy them because they should, yet the greens always seem to end up either in a vase as a bouquet or permanently exiled to the hinterlands of the fridge. Here’s a better solution. Sauté your greens in olive oil and garlic. Toss in some cherry tomatoes for color, or caramelized onions and a few raisins for sweetness. My friend said her 4-year old ate these greens and said they tasted like candy. Now that’s a kid with a bright future!
You can learn a lot sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck. That’s where my buddy Chris, from Zuckerman’s Farm, used to sit me down and teach me about all things asparagus. Chris worked hard—awfully hard—as a farmer. He was true salt of the earth, and as generous as they come. Normally, there’s an invisible line: farmers behind their wares and buyers on the other side, but Chris always insisted I “step into his parlor.” Both of us were always so excited when the first asparagus of the season showed up. He’d put aside a bunch for me, and then we’d both hop up on that tailgate and talk—about recipes, how amazingly nutritious asparagus is, and, a lot of the time, about life and family. Chris passed away not long ago, and I felt the best way I could honor him was to create a recipe featuring his favorite veggie. I think he would have enjoyed this, and I hope you will too.