Clearly, I am in need of the restorative powers of the season. While it’s not exactly a coconut cake, Spaghetti with Shaved Asparagus, found in the April issue of Everyday Food, is a bright and invigorating harbinger of spring. “The Field Guide to Produce” says asparagus is a perennial plant in the lily family (there’s an Easter connection already!) and wild asparagus was prized by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians as a seasonal delicacy.
I used thin, wholegrain spaghetti to give the dish a nuttier flavor. The asparagus is shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler, so it takes almost no time to cook and is simply added to the pasta pot just before draining the hot water. The asparagus shavings retain a crisp and vigorous, just-picked flavor. The spaghetti and asparagus shavings are tossed with lemon zest and salty-tart shavings of parmesan cheese.
Asparagus spears grow underground. The tender green and violet shoots peak out of the ground in early spring, and are harvested by hand for about 6 to 8 weeks.