It's Spring! Eggs And Asparagus

digital illustration by Jamie Leo

Spring is a time for new growth, fertility and change; a time to get up and start moving after a long (long!) winter. Even this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll has the theme “Get up and Go!” promoting health and wellness through Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to fight childhood obesity.

So why not freshen up the traditional Easter dishes too? The first entree that comes to mind when thinking about Easter is ham. Then lamb. In the spirit of health and wellness, how about some interesting vegetarian plates to celebrate the arrival of spring and the welcome dose of freshness and variety it brings along with it?

The egg, a symbol of new life, is a perfect food for celebrating the changing season. And asparagus, proof that the season is changing, is another delightful addition to your Easter menu. Here are some tasty takes on eggs and asparagus from Herbivoracious, a blog full of delicious vegetarian options worth a try.

Panko-crusted Egg with Cherry Smoked Asparagus, Smoked Paprika, And Sherry Gastrique
The crunchy panko makes a really cool counterpoint to a correctly cooked, soft and smooth hardboiled egg. Eggs and asparagus have a natural affinity, and smoking the asparagus doubles up the flavor of the smoked paprika (pimenton dulce). The sherry gastrique adds complex sweet/sour/caramelized notes.

Polenta With Asparagus And Olives
This is a quick and easy meal you can throw together in 20 minutes if you have the ingredients in your pantry. The key is to use a polenta that is quick-cooking but not instant. The instant stuff has been parboiled and doesn’t taste too great. My favorite is an organic Argentinian polenta from de la Estancia.

Asparagus With Nori Butter
The garnishes for this dish are nori strips, sesame seeds, Maldon salt, miso-lemon sauce, finely diced lemon zest, and chive tips. Don’t feel obligated to make it this complicated at home! You could just as easily toss the asparagus with the nori butter and salt and have a delicious side dish.

Visit our Eat Well Guide to find a store or farmers' market near you selling sustainably-produced eggs and asparagus (and, if you're looking for ham or lamb, you can find those, too).