I’ve told the prince that one of the things you must learn as you grow, along with how to drive, how to ask a girl out, how to be kind, how to look people in the eye, how to be on time, and in general how not to be an ass, is how to like vegetables.
My friend Ruth, proud of her first apartment, asked me over for dinner; she was 18, I was 17. She made pot roast (ambitious for a teen but not too successful), and she made boiled broccoli smothered in cheese sauce and extra cheddar. I think the cheese sauce was store-bought and I’m pretty sure the sauce and cheese outweighed the veg; but it was the first time I ever ate and DID NOT MIND broccoli. The waiting coffin called “heart disease” got a few shiny new brads, but the superhero called good health got a small shot of steroids too.
I can eat any veg. I choose not to eat limas and a few other losers, but I have learned simple preparations for so many veg, minus the two lbs of cheese, and I am convinced they are the key to a healthy life so I eat them every day. Phyto this, bio that, the chemistry of why vegetables are so good for you is not fully known. It’s not just the known nutrients; it’s the way humans are meant to get a whole variety of nourishing shit. I won’t eat stuff that actually tastes like shit because for me food must be pure pleasure and the following is a purely delicious way to eat one veg.
The last of (imported but cheap) asparagus was available last weekend; I’m the only (grown-up) one who will eat it and I love it enough that I can eat the whole pound+ but have learned from painful experience that that is a bad idea. Gastro-fill-in-the-blank-ness.. So I buy the pound+ and eat it over 3-4 days.
Rinse a portion of the sparegoose. Shake off the excess water or let it sit for several. Snap off the woody end of each and discard. In a small skillet heat to med high a tablespoon of olive oil and, when hot, snap the spears into two inch lengths starting at the bottom. Reserve the tops for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking. Toss the thicker bits in the hot oil until they just start to brown then add the tops, and toss til the the tops and all are a bright green with bits of brown. Take off the heat, salt lightly, and cover to keep hot. It’s wonderful as is but you can then add the merest smidge of any of the following: fresh parmesan cheese or a sprinkle of bacon or some fresh squeezed lemon juice or a nubbin of butter or a drip of sesame oil or red pepper flakes or a schmear of almond butter or some chopped toasted almonds or half an ounce of chopped prosciutto or crisp-cooked pancetta.