Monday, April 17, 2006

Tradition Friction gets Roasted

I’m sort of an un-traditionalist. If I can’t see the point of something, I just don’t do it, or conversely, if I can’t see a reason not to do something, then I usually do it.

This naturally causes friction at times. Especially when it comes to big tradition issues like Easter dinner.

Growing up, Easter seemed to be the highpoint of poorly cooked, overly salted and sweetened food for the year. The dreaded mushroom soup green bean casserole would invariably make an appearance. And asparagus would be boiled until just a soggy remnant of its potential glory remained. Ham, either sickeningly sweet with pineapple and honey, or overly salty and packed in tin with the gelatin globs. And there was always some sort of marshmallow jello affair. With canned mandarin orange slices mixed in. Things like that.

So I don’t do that.

There are SO MANY wonderful things to eat, fresh things, especially this time in the spring – vegetables, herbs, fruits. It seems criminal to carry on tasteless traditions, and inflict the pain of those old traditions on the next generation.

So I stopped.

One thing in particular that always made me practically gag was the overcooked, mushy to the point of dissolving asparagus. Even with a sauce on top.

Recently I have been roasting fresh asparagus in the oven under the broiler. Drizzled with fresh olive oil, and usually sprinkled with fresh garlic. Roasted just until it is lightly browned in places. So that it still has a bit of a snap to it.

This turns something I always hated when I was young into one of my favorite vegetable dishes.

This year, the roasted asparagus is coupled with a nice tarragon tomato salad, and salmon roasted in balsamic and basil, with a little steamed rice on the side.

Since the various dishes are so simple, I didn't include the recipes today. The description of the asparagus method is above, and the salmon was just roasted in the oven as well, with a little balsamic vinegar sprinkled on top, and some minced basil sprinkled over it.

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Blogger MM said...

I so agree. I hate it when vegetables are overcooked to a mush. Lovely combo of balsamic salmon and asparagus there!

2:24 AM  
Blogger surfindaave said...

Thanks, Stephanie! It made a very nice un-traditional Easter dinner!

10:28 AM  

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