Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spring Asparagus Pasta with Arugula Pesto


This is the season of asparagus and my first Spring in Québec. The temperature last week went up to as high as 21ºc and that was 2 weeks before April! The snow piles that have been sitting for months are now mostly gone. Normally at this time of year, Spring doesn’t arrive until mid to late April, but this year it is surprisingly early, as if the city is giving us a special welcome!

Well, I guess I have nothing to complain about. In fact, we were told by most of the locals that they do not like the snow at all. Since the winter is normally long here, people will find any excuse to stay out as soon as the  temperature reaches 10ºc or higher. As much as I love the snow, I have to confess that I can’t wait to see and smell the spring flowers, and certainly spring vegetables are one of my favorite things as well!

In New York, the outdoor farmer’s market would already be opened in March, but here, it’s usually opened in May, due to the cold weather. Thankfully, we have an indoor farmer’s market, Marché du Vieux Port, that’s open all year round.

I don’t know about you, but for me, I love the asparagus at this time of the year. They’re young and very thin, which is great for stir-frying, sautéing or grilling. The fat and juicier asparagus usually comes in later in of the season. If you prefer the thin ones like me, you have to try this recipe. I love the green of this dish; it’s springy, simple, flavorful and full of nutrients. I paired the asparagus with another spring vegetable – baby arugula. They are both low in calories and are packed with vitamins A and C.