Once the days are lighter later and the temperatures warmer, I begin counting the days until the first farmer’s market of the year. Seeing the stalls line up and people loading their canvas bags with freshly picked produce means that we’ve survived another winter. In lieu of a champagne toast, I lift a spear of roasted asparagus. (After all, what ties better with the images of spring and rebirth than this rumored aphrodisiac?) I find myself eating asparagus almost daily, knowing that the season is short. While we’ll soon move on to many wonderful things like squash blossoms, bing cherries, and raspberries, asparagus’ days are numbered.
Today’s recipe is a celebration of all that is in season and taking center stage at my farmer’s market – the aforementioned asparagus, garlic, spring onions, and spinach. I roast chickpeas and asparagus (my favorite way to cook it), and then add it to a pan of spinach sautéed with garlic and onions, and dotted with the tart and tangy flavors of lemon juice and capers. I like to serve it over my easy breakfast polenta. However, it would be a mouthwatering spring meal over any grain, like farro, brown rice, or barley.