Allowing the positive stuff in life to stick to us rather than negative makes things more delicious, kinda like the crispy and delectable coating that adheres to these scrumptious little Parmesan Asparagus Spears!
Living in a big city like Los Angeles, with its crowded streets and its a-bit-too-close-for-comfort living style (aka, tiny properties and beaucoup apartments), it’s all too easy to be frequently subjected to the not-so-brilliantly-sparkly-and-beautiful aspects of humanity.
Know what I mean?
There never seems to be a shortage of rude behavior, thoughtlessness, apathy, and just general unkindness to witness, all of which can add up over time and stick to the psyche like gum sticks to a shoe.
And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it much when gum sticks to my shoe.
It can be tough to shake off the not-so-positive experiences that one has during the course of any given day, as those color ones mood, outlook, attitude, and even general well-being.
And if left uncontemplated and unchecked, they can even begin to slowly chip away at a person, bringing them down into perpetual frustration, and into a generally negative outlook.
And who wants that?
That’s no way to go about experiencing day to day life, that’s for certain.
I’ve noticed that for some reason, it seems somehow easier for us to allow the negative to inform us, more so than the positive.
Have you ever noticed how a criticism or unfriendly exchange will stick in the thoughts much longer, often playing itself over and over again in the mind, almost as if on a loop?
So what if we actively began seeking out and trying to find the good stuff that can happen in a day?
What if we allowed all of the little positives—the little smiles, the little friendly “hellos”, the moments of kindness, the little compliments, and the kind little gestures—to stick to us and sink deep into our being-ness instead?
What if we took to heart more the sweet side of the day, the vibrant side, and allowed for that to adhere to us, discarding the other?
If the negative is like gum sticking to the bottom of a shoe, then I’ll liken the positive to the crispy, savory, parmesan coating that sticks to a crisp, green asparagus stalk that’s then plunged into a lemony aioli—these parmesan asparagus spears are a delicious something we can be uplifted and nourished by!
Just the other day, a friend said, “I try to look for the ‘ornament’ in each day.”
What a wonderful thing!
That when there is negativity, or when circumstances are challenging, look for a thing of beauty in that day, and be affected by it.
And when you can’t seem to find that thing that shines and glimmers, then be that thing—be the “ornament” yourself.
I love that!
What a much more pleasant, beautiful, awe-inspiring, and amazing life each one of us could live if we allowed the good things to adhere to us, and to become one with our being.
The more we become conscious of letting those things of a negative nature fall off and drift away from us, the better off we’ll be.
So what do you say that we savor the crispy and delicious parmesan crust, and try to avoid the gum-on-shoe as much as we possibly can?
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Spears with Lemony Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4
• 2 (12 ounce) packages asparagus, bottoms trimmed
• 1 lemon, halved
• ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs, whisked with a tablespoon of water
• 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
• ¾ cup grated parmesan
• Canola or vegetable oil, for shallow frying
• Pinch paprika
• Lemony Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli (recipe below)
-Place a medium-large pot of water over high heat, and add a good amount of salt so that it tastes like sea water; squeeze in the lemon and stir to combine, and bring to the boil.
-Once the water boils, add in the asparagus, and blanch them for about 30 seconds – 1 minutes; remove from water and plunge into an ice water bath to shock the asparagus and stop if from further cooking, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
-Prepare your breading area by getting your flour ready in one bowl or container, your whisked eggs in another, and the panko breadcrumbs combined with the parmesan in another.
-Dip the asparagus spears into the flour to coat, then into the eggs, then into the panko-parmesan mixture to coat; set aside on a large platter, and repeat until all are coated.
-Heat enough oil in a large skillet or pan to generously cover the bottom (enough for shallow frying), and once hot, begin adding batches of the coated asparagus spears and fry, turning them once, until golden-brown and crisp; drain on wire racks, and repeat with all coated asparagus; sprinkle with a bit of paprika to finish.
-Serve with the Lemony Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli sauce.
Lemony Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli Ingredients:
• ¾ cup mayonnaise
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 tablespoon roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Pinch black pepper
• 1 tablespoon, heaping, minced sun-dried tomatoes
(*A traditional aioli is actually made using raw egg yolks and olive oil; but to make this recipe more accessible and safe, avoiding the raw egg, I used prepared mayo as a base, making this more of a “mock” aioli.)
-Add all of the ingredients into a bowl, and whisk until smooth and well blended; serve immediately, or keep in a covered container in the fridge until ready to serve.