Our government says we should all eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. That's a lot more than simply eating an apple a day to keep doctors away. If everyone actually ate what is recommended we would need three times as much farmland devoted to fruits and vegetables as currently exists. Current farm bill policies only minimally support these crops. One way to take action is to plant some of your own food. It's the season, at least in the west. Even a small 4-by-8-foot plot can grow a lot of fresh vegetables. Containers work well too, particularly for herbs.
In my opinion, it is more practical to buy organically grown asparagus from a farmers' market than to wait a couple years to harvest your own at home. Recognizing that last week's recipe celebrated asparagus, I just have to share an additional asparagus recipe with you that is easy to make and very good.
- One bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (lower sodium if you wish)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3 to 4 drops hot chili oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
Bring water in a large saucepan to a boil. Add a tray of ice cubes to a bowl and fill it with water. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for 2 minutes and no more. Quickly drain the asparagus and submerge it in the ice water to stop it from getting mushy. Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat. Don't let yourself get lulled into complacency as the seeds stay white for a while. When they start to toast, they do so quickly. Whisk the soy sauce and sesame oil together. Dribble in the chili oil. Drain the asparagus and toss with the dressing. Top with the toasted sesame seeds.