Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shaved Asparagus with Salty Garlic Aioli

I have a saving grace.

I can't imagine her not in my life, her sweet support and witty as all hell personality brings me back each conversation. She has been by my side through the thick and thin, took me under her wing countless times. It is a relationship that is decades strong and a generation separates us just enough to make it work.

I can thank her for my appreciation of a fierce and fiery Cesar salad made with a raw egg, I can attribute a playful passion for wine to her - in some not too far and distant way know that I am a the woman I am today with her help. I thank her for her patience and faith in me. She has an endless way of making everyone around her feel comfortable. She calls me at the exactly right moments and encourages me when I feel that I have lost sight. I can count on her to tell me to buck up and get over it and reminds me that I have an amazing life.

All I can do in return is call her, sit on her couch and carry on endless conversations and pray for her. For some reason, beyond any ones comprehension she is haunted by undiagnosable chronic and debilitating pain. A pain no one can understand. A pain that she deals with every day. She fights the good fight and never loses sight of the important precious aspects of her life like her son and the people around her. This is a pain that we wish she could shake, a fleeting feeling that would escape her body in the Spring breeze. I wish the world for her.

I called her today, she brightened my entire afternoon and reminded me that no matter where I go, what happens, life is wonderful. I went inside and made this salad after our short conversation, inspired to do what I love and enjoy all the blessings that I do have, including her.

Shaved Asparagus with Salty Garlic Aioli

Garlic-Anchovy aioli
Inspired by The Wednesday Chef
Makes about 1/2 cup

1 egg yolk
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 inch squirt of anchovy paste
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Put the yolk in a wide-mouth jar and pulse for about 30 seconds with an immersion blender. Add a good pinch of salt, as much minced garlic as you'd like (I used 2 cloves, spicy!), the squirt of anchovy and the juice of half a lemon. Pulse again. While pulsing, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is emulsified and creamy. Taste for salt and thin with a little water if necessary.

1 pound asparagus spears
Parmesan cheese
Fresh cracked pepper

Holding onto the tough end of a single spear of clean asparagus, use a vegetable peeler to shave off thin ribbons from stalk to tip, peeling away from the tough end in your hand. Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling (I save mine for making stock). Gently pile your ribbons on a medium-sized serving platter. Drizzle aioli to coat the shaved asparagus, using as much dressing as desired. Toss with freshly shaved Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

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