On our second date, my husband took me to a small, romantic Italian restaurant hidden in a house down the street from my apartment. We sat on the patio and our appetizer was a "quick cooked" zucchini dish, with a mound of matchsticked zucchini tossed with toasted almonds, piled up on a plate, and draped with slices of Pecorino cheese which were only just melted. It was simple and memorable. Here is a version I make at home in the spring, accompanied by the season's first asparagus. Enjoy. —Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
bunch pencil thin asparagus, about 1lb
small red onion, finely diced
coarsely grated Pecorino cheese (Parmesan also works)
almonds, toasted and chopped roughly
rice wine vinegar or other light vinegar
Remove the tough woody stems of the asparagus and cut crosswise in thin coins.
Cut the zucchini into matchsticks of roughly 1/2 inch length.
Combine your prepped asparagus and zucchini with the red onion, cheese, almonds, salt and pepper, sugar, and oil and vinegar. Chill for at least one hour so the vinegar can soften the asparagus and the flavors can blend.