Asparagus might be available in supermarkets all year long, but they are never as sweet and delicious as when you buy them from your local farmer or pick them from your own garden.
Here in the northeastern United States, this year’s crop has been particularly good due to the superb spring weather we’ve been having. The result: tender stems with high sugar content and loads of flavor.
So for the last several weeks, asparagus has been a main ingredient for many of my recipes: delicate soups, crunchy salads, melt-in-your-mouth tarts, creamy risottos and buttery pasta sauces.
No matter how fanciful the recipes they inspire might get, I adore the simple technique of roasting asparagus with a little olive oil and salt. The tips get browned and intensely flavorful while the stems remain crunchy. (Take a peek at this video for a demonstration of the roasting technique and for another great recipe.)
Last week I decided to serve my roasted asparagus with burrata. If you’ve never had burrata, I hope you give it a try: it’s the Ferrari of mozzarella. The technique for making the cheese is the same as for mozzarella, except that it’s formed in the shape of a pocket, stuffed with bits of mozzarella and cream, and then tied with a knot. It turns into a marvelously soft cheese with an oozing creamy center.
Eating the sweet, creamy burrata and the roasted asparagus, together in one mouthful, is nothing short of a tastegasm. Add lemony sorrel leaves and the superb Tahitian Lime Oil from O Olive Oil and you have a dish that is both simple and unforgettable.
A loaf of crusty loaf of bread will be de rigueur, as polishing off the exquisite juices will be impossible to resist. —Viviane Bauquet Farre
asparagus spears (2 bunches) – stem snapped off at the base
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
burrata cheese (about 8 oz)
Tahitian Lime Oil as garnish (or lemon oil)
large leaves sorrel (or arugula) – cut in 1/16” chiffonade (click here for a video of the chiffonade cutting technique)
Preheat oven to 500°F. Move rack to the top of the oven. Spread the asparagus on a jellyroll pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (depending on their size) until the tips begin to brown. Remove from pan and let cool for 10 minutes.
Place burrata in the center of a serving platter. Arrange the roasted asparagus on each side of the cheese. Drizzle lavishly with the Tahitian Lime Oil. Top the cheese with the sorrel chiffonade. Finish with freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve.