Baked asparagus custard with arugula and tarragon

baked asparagus custard

Yesterday morning I was feeling a little tired and discouraged. I decided to tag along with David on a bike ride up the towpath that runs between the river and the canal. I pedaled along, looking at the pebbly path, because going over the big ruts makes my back hurt. Which makes me feel old. Then I looked up. The late morning light glowed in the early spring leaves so beautifully it almost hurt. Against the dark tangle of branches, the small leaves hummed with a bright hopeful light. A light that’s only there this time of year, and doesn’t last very long. Well!

I think asparagus is a little like that. It’s so vivid and slender and pretty. It tastes like early spring. You wouldn’t want to eat it all summer, but you do want to eat it now. I like it best lightly steamed with butter and lemon, but you can’t eat it that way every time! So I try different things. I’m not sure what made me think of this, and I’m not sure what it should be called. It’s not a custard, exactly. It reminds me of Stouffer’s Spinach soufflé. When I was a child, that was the special thing to have with our steak. It’s not a soufflé, because there’s no bechamel, and the eggwhites aren’t whipped. But it does feel special. It’s quite light, but substantial enough to serve in slices. It would be nice with a light tomato sauce or red pepper coulis, but it’s flavorful enough to serve as it is. And it’s quick to make!

In Blackalicious’ Green Light – Now Begin, they say,

No more of that sittin’ in a slump and uh
No more of that coulda-woulda-shoulda junk
No more of that waiting for the inspiration, innovation

Or a green light–now begin

That’s right!!
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