Chicken Soup for the Soul
The Rituals of Victuals

Four Legs Bad, Two Stalks Good

Asparagus Santa Maria is a huge fan of the New York Times science section, published each Tuesday. I always bring her a copy of it home from the office, like I'm some kind of nineteen-fifties provider. In getting in the habit of bringing her the section, I've started to grow very fond of it myself. This week's edition had a chilling article by Jane Brody about the perils of eating meat, one of which are the carcinogens that develop as the meat is grilled or roasted.

I'm a natural omnivore with an unusually high need for protein, so I'm not sure how I'll be able to cut down on the amount of meat I eat. As it is, I don't often eat red meat, given how expensive it is (at least for the grass-fed kind).

I try to get in as many vegetables as I can, having been raised on a steady diet of meat/starch/vegetable servings. One of our favorite greens is asparagus, and there is no better time for it than in the spring. One of my favorite ways to cook it is to roast it. The method is quick and easy and most importantly, tasty. I have no idea if it puts me at risk for carcinogens the way roasting meat apparently does. It's just too delicious to consider.

Roast Asparagus

  • 1 head fresh asparagus
  • a little olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
        Snap the ends off the asparagus and wash the stalks well.
        Place the stalks on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil.
        Roll the stalks around to coat them.
        Salt and pepper to taste.
        Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for about fifteen minutes, or until the stalks are tender             and the tips are crispy.

        Note: Santa Maria likes to then dress the stalks with a balsamic vinaigrette. They are also tasty with slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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