In the last week or so, the daffodils have been going mad, the sorrel is getting new leaves, the coriander is looking happier than it has been for a while. And the first of the asparagus spears are poking their paint-brushtip noses out of the ground. It's got to be spring!
This is the time of year when the asparagus is infrequent enough on our plates to be a source of delighted comment. Soon enough, we'll be harvesting bundles of it, so much that David at least will cry for mercy(I find it hard to be completely fed up of asparagus!)But right now each spear is a singular pleasure. We don't hill up our asparagus as we prefer the green variety to the white one so beloved in France, but which to us taste somewhat pallid and watery. Our asparagus have a beautiful, clean, green taste, juicy and distinctive. They are wonderful just steamed and served cold with a simple vinaigrette, or with a dressing I made up, of one teasoon olive oil, one teaspoon sour cream, a smidgen of vinegar, and a mashed anchovy, with pepper. They're also delightful hot, just with a little butter, salt and pepper, or a tomato salsa. They go well in omelettes, in stir-fries, in quiches, and they make wonderful soup(once we have those massive amounts later on in the spring.)