If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Fresh Asparagus Salad with Buratta, Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Raisins and Bread Crumbs and Tiny Tomatoes

The creamy rich Burrata Cheese is completely hidden under the Asparagus
The Bounty of the Comfort Family Farm on
Lumber Lane in Bridgehampton starts
with their first Asparagus crop of the season.
         The first Asparagus of the season is about to make its appearance after our long, cold Spring. I was driving along past one of the farm stands we go to all summer, when I saw the first spears standing totally alone on what is usually a cart laden with produce. As you can see in this Fall picture, the Comfort Family’s farm grows all kinds of good things. But there are few things in life I look forward to more than the arrival of those first tender shoots of asparagus.  The delicious flavor of the vegetable is matched by the glorious green color it takes on when cooked.  We’ll have plenty of it for the next month. And then it will disappear until next Spring.  I’ll buy it in the off-season but those spears will pale when compared to the delicious fresh flavor of the local stuff.  Now, how to make it a whole meal?  A complete dinner for two?  It was actually very easy.
The Comfort’s Asparagus comes tied with twine.
Nice Touch!
         I had a beautiful big boule of Buratta cheese from a foray into Little Italy.  I had some very fresh, ripe cherry and grape tomatoes.  That little bit of acidity is perfect foil for the fresh asparagus and the ultra-rich creaminess of the Buratta.  And how could I resist not tossing some diced pancetta into the mix?  (By the way, if you choose to make this meatless, you can omit the pancetta…poor you.)  I could have stopped there but rooting around for a recipe, I came across the suggestion of using a well-known combination of Sicilian ingredients to round the whole dish out.  The trio—pine nuts, golden raisins and sautéed bread crumbs–added some great notes to the salad I was building.  The pine nuts gave it some crunch, the raisins some sweetness and the bread crumbs, quickly sautéed in the pancetta pan, were crisp and flavorful.  I had my salad which I served with toasted Ciabatta.  And you can too.  Here’s the recipe for two.  You can easily scale this up for 4 or 6.


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