In a few short weeks the orchard has been transformed. From rabbits standing on snow drifts nibbling treetops to trees loaded with tiny apples. Unfortunately full bloom occurred while we were visiting my sister in Michigan so we missed it this year.
The orchard in bloom is a stunning sight. One day there are little fat green buds tipped with white, a few days later there’s an explosion of pink and white blossoms. One would think that after the hard winter the bloom would be later than usual but it was right on schedule in mid-March.
We’ve been gorging on fresh asparagus. It is a treat to be once again eating vegetables a few hours from the garden. Usually I peel the lower ends of the asparagus and quickly cook them in a shallow pan with a little water but occasionally I like to make Asparagus with Butter Sauce and Parmesan Cheese.
This is a recipe that I first had at an Easter dinner eleven years ago. Lorraine Weinberg, a friend from Andover, had prepared it. She shared the recipe with me before she moved to New York City and we lost touch. I don’t think she’d mind my passing it on.
Asparagus with Butter Sauce and Parmesan Cheese
1 pound of asparagus
Peel the tough outer skin from the ends and steam, covered, for 2 to 5 minutes until bright green and just tender. Run under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat the stalks dry and line them in a shallow layer in a baking dish.
¼ cup butter
1 clove minced garlic
1 finely chopped shallot
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice with zest from the lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle the Asparagus Butter over the asparagus.
Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Broil 1 minute until lightly browned