Asparagus and cherries is not a pairing you normally hear of, let alone see in taco form, but when we tasted this combination during our recent trip to Washington state, we felt like we'd been let in on a marvelous secret.
When roasted or grilled, the two ingredients turn sweet, succulent, and rich with complex, seasonal flavor. In a taco garnished with zesty asparagus salsa and fresh Mexican cheese, the combination is completely enticing.
Like the asparagus salsa we shared last week, this recipe was inspired by a meal catered by Guerra's Gourmet of Sunnyside, Wash. If you're fortunate enough to have an overlap in asparagus and cherry seasons where you live, do give this dish a try. It's unique enough for entertaining yet quick and easy to make for a weeknight dinner.
Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Tacos
makes about 8
1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed or snapped off Olive oil Coarse salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 pound cherries, halved and pitted Corn tortillas (or flour, if you prefer)
Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet. Drizzle just enough olive oil to lightly and evenly coat, and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven.
After about 10 minutes, turn the asparagus spears and add the cherries to the pan.
Continue to roast until asparagus is just tender and browned, about 20 minutes.
To serve, place a few asparagus spears and cherry halves in the center of a tortilla and garnish with asparagus salsa, queso fresco, and cilanto.
Variations: • Grill instead of roast: Asparagus may be cooked straight on a hot grill and cherries should be grilled inside an aluminum foil "bowl" so they don't fall through the grate. • Add fried tofu squares for protein and crunch.