I want so badly to tell you that what you’re about to read didn’t really happen and that I made it up for the sake of entertainment. But that’s not the case.
Yesterday I found myself locked in a Target fitting room. Me, my purse and three shirts. This was pretty ironic, considering that my New Year’s resolution was to try and cut back on a habit of impulse buying, and all I really needed from Target was three birthday cards. I sat there, confused for a moment and in a slight panic, and thought about what to do. I had my phone. I could update my facebook status: Locked in Target fitting room. Please help. But fearful of how many of my friends would “like” it, I thought maybe I should tweet instead, but I was pretty sure all 17 of my followers could care less. The thought of using my phone to actually make a phone call seemed too logical (or… didn’t cross my mind). I could yell “Help,” but that would probably just turn into a growing cluster of chuckling, red-shirted employees as the news spread through walkie-talkies.
It felt like hours, and I sat there wondering how many pieces of gum from my purse I could chew to make a meal. But then, it hit me. This was happening for a reason. The New Year’s Resolution gods were sending me a message. I shouldn’t have even been in the fitting room to begin with. Obviously, I really wish I hadn’t been. OK, so it worked. I kept to my resolution and did what any normal adult would do…I left my merchandise hanging, grabbed my purse and crawled under the door.
So, I can happily say that I’m not a resolution failure, not yet anyway, and I don’t want you to be either. Maybe it’s because I’ve stuffed you full of cookies, cake and booze, but I’ve been hearing a few popular resolutions to eat healthier, eat more vegetables, or shed a few pounds. This recipe just might help with all of those.
Crisp, colorful asparagus is roasted in olive oil and served on top of a walnut crema. What’s a crema and how does moving the “a” around in “cream” make it healthy? It’s a blend of walnuts, olive oil, red onion, and here I added rosemary. It’s a double dose of healthy fat blended into a smooth, creamy base. Perfect for adding a little something special to an ordinary vegetable dish.
Although it took a little divine intervention and a lot of embarrassment for me to keep my resolution, I’m hoping all it takes to keep you on track is a good healthy recipe. So go ahead and tell your friends you’re making a crema – they’ll probably look at you like you just crawled out from under a fitting room door.
Roasted Asparagus with Walnut Crema (Recipe adapted from A16 Food+Wine )
1 ½ cups walnuts
¾ cup diced red onion
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for sautéing
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (no need to chop)
½ teaspoon of Kosher salt, plus more for water
1-2 lbs of asparagus
½ cup walnuts, toasted (see this post for a reference on how to toast nuts)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch of kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
pecorino, parmesan or romano cheese, for grating on top
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Posted on January 5, 2011