This meal came back to me very clearly today while running and listening to an old play list. Years prior I remembered running to that song as I approached the corners of Gibson and Fulton Terrace and I just stopped running and I cried. I realized that I was quite hopelessly in love with Jim whether I wanted to be or not. Being in love is like having the most awesome secret in the world, it’s shiny, tingly and it’s warm and it’s all yours and it makes everything and everyone more enjoyable. But clearly overwhelming.
A few days or weeks later I was running, yet again, and I wondered what does falling in love look/taste like? What does it look like on a plate; what do I want to eat that can celebrate this emotion? The first part was easy; it popped right into my head: scallops. I don’t know why but apparently falling in love feels like pan seared scallops. Scallops with lentils, baked ones, not too soupy, and nothing too earthy to season them. Falling in love certainly has something green on the plate, but nothing bland, there is something zippy about falling in love. This was the hard part, finally after a few miles, I had it! Falling in love is pan seared scallops with basil oil, baked lentils and roasted asparagus with thyme gremolata. My friend Jayme called while I was preparing dinner for myself and asked what I was doing ‘I’m preparing an ‘I’m falling in love with Jim dinner.’ ‘Ooohhh, what’s in that?’ I told her the menu. ‘I hope he realizes how lucky he is.’
The funny thing is I have never made this meal for Jim. I’ve certainly made some parts of the sum. I should but....
While writing this down I decided that asparagus sounded like the perfect accompaniment for hot weather but I wanted it with steak. Right now, being in love feels like steak, steak Jim will cook. Hopefully one of those pampered, grass fed, manicured and massaged $25 steaks from the meat guy at the East Atlanta Farmers’ Market.
Shaved Asparagus with lemon and parmesan - serves 4 as a side dish
1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and shaved
1.5 ounces shaved parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Trim the ends of the asparagus and shave it with a paring knife. Heat oil in a pan add asparagus, saute for a minute and add in 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 parsley, salt and pepper. Saute for another minute, remove from heat and toss with cheese and dress with remaining lemon juice and parsley.
Notes: Shaving asparagus is equal to peeling garlic or shrimp or husking corn in my mind as far as tedious kitchen chores are concerned. Hang in there, it’s worth it.