Asparagus and macadamia tart with a lemon-pepper crust

Asparagus and macadamia tart

Asparagus and macadamia tart

I’ve been in a little bit of a blue funk lately, and I couldn’t start to tell you why. It’s inexplicable! The other morning I was lying in bed, trying to think of a good reason to get out of it, and I heard birds singing outside my window. I heard birds whirring and calling and warbling. It wasn’t a particularly nice morning, it was grey and unseasonably cool, but the sun came up a little earlier than it had the day before, as it does this time of year. The birds seemed to recognize that fact and want to sing about it. The birds and bugs and flowers just get on with their work, they go about their business. They wake up and live because that’s what they do in the spring. Maybe they think about time passing. Maybe they’re bewildered by memories and worries, but it doesn’t seem to slow them down any. As the days grow longer and lighter, they work harder and louder, and they seem satisfied with that. They seem happy. It felt like a comfort to me, listening to the birds busy outside my window. It felt like a good reason to get out of bed and get on with my life, and join the cool bright world waking up all around me, at its own irrepressible pace. You can never hold back spring.

This is what we made for easter dinner. It’s modeled on a bakewell tart, so you’ve got your crust, your jammy layer (pureed asparagus and tarragon!), and your baked nut custard layer (with macadamia nuts!). I added lemon zest and pepper to the crust, because both those things go well with asparagus and seemed fresh and springlike. Other than that, we kept it really simple and clean. I thought it was very tasty – bright but comforting.

Here’s Tom Waits with You Can Never Hold Back Spring. Remember everything that spring can bring.
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