Last week we ate at Mario Batali's pizzeria, Otto and promptly afterward I decided to tell you about my vegetables sides tucked in little bowls. Last week's email gave the recipe for some minty English peas and prosciutto and today the asparagus with Pecorino is up. While the asparagus is still in season (assuming you're not already asparagussed-out), this is an ideal treatment of those sweet green spears: chopped into bits, served raw with the best olive oil you can find and a handful of Pecorino bits. If you can't get Pecorino, which is made from Sheep's milk, Parmesan, a more buttery cow's milk cheese, is a good alternative.
Asparagus & Pecorino
Makes 8 servings
8 ounces fresh asparagus 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, diced and smashed into little bits a few cracks fresh black pepper
Snap off the root ends of the asparagus and slice it cross-wise into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch long pieces.
In a medium bowl whisk together the oil and lemon juice. Toss in the asparagus and cheese. Combine well.
Divide into small cups, ramekins or bowls between 4 and 8 ounces and top with black pepper.