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Finding a bright spot on a gray day

Although it is spring, and there have been some dazzling, warm days full of sun, today is not one of those days. DC has been dipping into the cooler temperatures, and there is rain. It’s gray and drizzly out, and my day has been dark in other ways as well. I came home without real plans for making dinner, but rummaged through the fridge anyway. And found there, in the ingredients for the one small bright spot of my day, a reminder that it is indeed spring.

Waiting for me in the crisper was a gloriously green bunch of asparagus, courtesy of my CSA, half a container of Ricotta, and an aging lemon barely holding on to its sunshine hue. After snapping off the ends, I tossed the spears in olive oil, lemon zest, and a pinch of sea salt, and introduced them to my All Clad grill pan (a two-burner spanning affair). While the asparagus gained its crispy grill marks, I brightened the Ricotta with lemon zest and a bit of salt, then turned the spears a few more times for evenness.

Arranged on a plate like stalks of fresh grass, draped in the lemony Ricotta, the asparagus looked like spring. Each spear was tender, yet also crisp and balanced with a hint of darker smokiness from the grill pan. The green crunch was offset by the creaminess of the Ricotta, with its flecks of golden lemon, and while perhaps I was a bit too generous with the cheese, the combo was rescued by the salt, which tied everything together beautifully. The whole dish was a bit of sun on my plate, on a day that held little light otherwise.

It’s good to know that bright spots can be found, if you look. Even in the crisper drawer.

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