Sunday, December 26, 2010

Asparagus with Dijon Butter

Do you have holiday traditions? I find comfort in my holiday rituals. These days my life is shifting so quickly I am needing extra time to center myself, sit in stillness and remain open to the gifts of life. I am finding that the gifts of life may not have the wrapping paper I imagined or am used to, but I am trusting what is inside life's gifts will be exactly what I need.

I am starting a new tradition this year of eating Dungeness crab for our holiday dinner. I know, so Californian of me, right? It is fresh and easy to get where I live though, and a festive addition to a holiday dinner. A few nights ago at my daughter's request, we each said what we are thankful for at dinner. I said I was thankful to live in California. And, as I am planning a move to the bay area this summer, I am especially thankful that I can move to such an amazing place. No more off-grid solar living. No more driving 45 minutes to town. No more driving 3 miles down a dirt road to get home. It is very idyllic living off-grid until you are alone trying to trouble shoot an inverter problem or a broken generator! I will be a 5 minute drive to almost anything I want. A very long way from the outhouse I had at Shobo-an when I first moved here. The things I will miss (and it is a long, long list) are part of the chapter in my life I am closing. I am very lucky that the friendships I have made these past ten years I will take along with me after I move. I hope to lure all my friends to Marin for any amount of time they are willing to visit.

This year I tried a new dish vegetable dish for the holiday. Asparagus is starting to come into season here on the west coast, and I thought to include it in our crab dinner. I told my dear friends last night at Christmas dinner it was a potential blog recipe and to be honest. Thumbs up or thumbs down. I got all thumbs up. I made it twice this week. The first time I shaved the asparagus with a vegetable peeler into thin strands I sauteed. The second time I just chopped the asparagus into 3 inch pieces. I liked it chopped into three inch pieces (less work!). The picture above I took when I shaved the asparagus. I toasted sesame seeds from my grain CSA to top the dish with. Don't forget the sesame seeds. They really add a wonderful nuttiness that contrasts the dijon.
Happy Holidays!

Aspargus with Dijon Butter
serves 4

1 bunch asparagus (bottoms trimmed off) cut into 3 inch pieces
1 tbls butter
1 tbls dijon mustard
pinch salt
2 tbls toasted sesame seeds

Sautee asparagus in butter for 8 minutes. Add dijon and salt. Mix well and cook covered over low heat until tender  (about 2 minutes more) Top with toasted sesame seeds.


Anonymous said...

first, this recipe sounds (and looks!) gorgeous. second, i am so amazed by your beauty and grace. and i can not wait to spend loads of time with you in marin. i love you jess! and am grateful for you in my lifexx

heather said...

Ditto on the beauty and grace. I could only hope to have the same. Lovely recipe..... When I start cooking again I'll try to make it. :)

Anonymous said...

as always, i want so badly to make this: the list of "things i want to make from jess' blog" is a long one!
love asparagus and it will be abundant soon! love this entire blog post and the beauty that continues to radiate from within you.

Becky said...

I would love to catch up on what's going on, the move, the cooking, Mae... I've had you in my thoughts lately.

As usual, I'm blown away by your ability to find the silver lining.

Love to you both!

Anonymous said...

Yummm!!! Gigi

Nancy said...

Oh, what I would give to have asparagus in season in new york right now! This sounds absolutely delectable. And with Dungeness crab, I can only imagine . . . yum.


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