Thursday, June 16, 2011

Easy Asparagus Salad and reflections on Home


It's an idea that has always been really important to me.  I've always loved to travel and even embraced moving from one coast to the next to finally another country. But in all of my travels the one thing that's been important to me is to have a home.  When I first moved to LA, Boston was my home.  I can't pinpoint when it happened, but on one of my many trips back to Boston, LA started to feel more like home.  As I headed to Logan to catch the 5 hours flight back to LAX, I had the sense that I was returning home, to the place I belonged, where I most liked to lay my head.  That's not to say Boston didn't still hold a place in my heart, it was where I grew up, where my oldest friends are, where my parents and one of my siblings are.  But there was that small almost imperceptible shift that happened somewhere in the first year or so I lived out West that made it my home.

I now live in Toronto. Have for 2 1/2 years in fact.  Home has taken on a different meaning since moving here.  I now constantly have at least two places pulling at me wherever I am.  When I'm in Toronto, I feel the pull of friends and my former life in LA as well as friends & family in Boston. Whenever I am away from all three, they each pull at me.  I spent much of the last month away from all of my homes, with the exception of a short stint in LA. Boulder, Costa Rica and Montreal have been where I've laid my head for much of the month of May.  And if I'm honest with myself, as amazing as all of the travel has been, and it has been truly amazing, I've only felt one place really pulling at me.  Toronto.  Again I've experienced that tiny shift that has made this place my home.

This house on the Bluffs in the outskirts of Toronto, that the Boy and I share with our two ridiculous and adorable pups has become my home and when the four of us aren't all together, something is missing.  My travels at the beginning of the month led me away from all of them and most recently on the trip to Montreal, we left the pups behind in the care of their dogwalker, who I suspect they love more than us, and as we saw dogs all over the city I felt a tugging.  A drawing me back to this place, that never in a million years did I ever think would be home.

One of my favorite things about this new home of mine, is the lovely little farmer's market that takes place just up the road, The BirchCliff Village Farmer's Market.  The vendors are small but have gorgeous produce.  I especially love the ladies from Zephyr Organics where I picked up a bunch of gorgeous, thick asparagus stalks.  With those stalks I made this super simple and delicious salad.

print recipe
Asparagus & Orange Salad
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 1/2 navel oranges
  • 2-4 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
1. Wash and drain the asparagus. Using a vegetable peeler carefully peel long lengths off of each asparagus stalk. Reserve the shavings in a bowl. 2. Squeeze half of 1 of the oranges over the asparagus, sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. While the asparagus is marinating, supreme the whole orange.*3. Portion the asparagus onto 4 plates. Arrange orange pieces around the plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with slat and pepper. Add some of the orange juice marinade to taste. There will be quite a bit clinging to the asparagus still, so this is merely a preference thing to add more.
Total time: Yield: 4 servings as a side

I promise Travel Thursday's will be back next week.  I just have a backlog of recipes to share and wanted to make sure to share them while you can still get this amazing seasonal veg!


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