The past month here in California was truly a whirlwind. Time passed so quickly and many of my grand plans slipped through my fingers. Mind you, such losses didn’t result from carelessness or other fun distractions. We found ourselves thwarted by rain, heavy winds, and a little red fox who could not catch a break. A cold was followed by conjunctivitis, which was followed by a terrible cough and sinus infection. We are all nearly well here, however, and ready to return to our little house in Seattle with all the comforts we left behind. Oh sure, we lost out on a bit of sleep, but we don’t talk about such things anymore. I have too many pregnant friends to go into this topic.
Don’t mind the bags under my eyes. I’m fine.
La tee da.
On the bright side, Maeve didn’t seem to mind the rain. She’s adaptable, wonderful, and a true joyful girl with a fabulous lust for life. When the rain pours down, she tilts her head to the sky and opens her mouth. She visited museums, parks, and beaches. She made fast friends with other little tikes and every single person at every single grocery store. She tasted my mother’s famous soda bread, authentic San Francisco pizza, and her first pork bun. She also discovered kiwi fruit, guacamole, and spicy salsa. She loved every bite. Her appetite is astounding these days and her palate a wonder.
And, although the markets didn’t draw me in with their bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits the way they so often do in times of finer weather, I did manage to develop an asparagus addiction. This isn’t surprising. It happens every spring. I find myself so desperate for something new and fresh that asparagus, the first spring vegetable at the markets, tempts me endlessly. Asparagus is abundantly available. You can’t ignore it. Don’t ignore it. You will get more bang for your buck with this vegetable than with nearly anything else around right now. I do hate to use such a cliche, but nothing is more true.
You can make lots of things with asparagus including omelettes and pastas. It’s wonderful grilled and roasted as well. But, if you only make one asparagus dish this season, I suggest this soba noodle dish. No, I insist. You will love it. It’s packed with strong flavors like salty proscuitto and parmasan. The garlic adds the right amount of tang and the egg mixes into the noodles to create a cream sauce of sorts. It’s sort of similar to a Korean bibimbap, but with an Italian twist. And it’s my new favorite thing. I can’t tell you how much I ate of this dish. Ridiculous amounts.
I will see you again soon, my friends. By this time next week I will be writing in an old and familiar spot. I will be cooking in a light-filled and familiar kitchen. It’s been a wonderful month in many ways, but I’m ready to be home. I am ready to come up for clean fresh Seattle air. I’m dying to see my garden and plan for summer. I’m also curious to figure out about this whole Hunger Games phenomena. I am not ashamed to admit I have no idea what it is. I suppose it’s really time to come out from under this rock.
Egg Topped Soba Noodles with Asparagus and Proscuitto
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
8 large eggs
9.5 ounces thin soba noodles
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut on sharp diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional cheese shavings
Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add prosciutto strips; cook until slightly crisp. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in each of 2 nonstick skillets over medium heat. Crack 4 eggs into each skillet. Cook on 1 side until eggs begin to set, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; set aside.
Cook soba noodles in large pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sliced asparagus to pot; cook until noodles are cooked through and asparagus is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain noodles and asparagus, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Add drained noodles and asparagus to prosciutto mixture in skillet. Cook over medium heat until heated through, tossing and adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten.
Remove skillet from heat. Add grated Parmesan cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss to coat. Divide among 8 plates. Top each serving with 1 egg and cheese shavings. Serve immediately.
Source: Bon Appetit