This weekend was the most springlike of the year, the sun beaming and magnolias just starting to burst into bloom. We spent the day traipsing around the outdoors with that I’m-on-vacation feeling, even though it was just the weekend in our own neighborhood.
Somewhere along the way this idea for asparagus tacos came up. It sounds a bit unusual, but it’s a spring take on the ubiquitous Mexican standard that works rather well. The ricotta and scrambled eggs balance out the strong asparagus flavor, and the creamy chive yogurt sauce makes it worthy of messy taco goodness. Even without traditional Mexican flavors like cumin and cilantro it can hold its own, and would make for a lovely spring brunch, lunch, or dinner.
The technique for cooking asparagus we use here is one of our favorites we’ve found so far: it involves no oil or butter; just cooking the asparagus in a dry pan and then adding water to steam them while cooking. With a few pinches of kosher salt, the spears are tender and delicious. Another serving idea for the dish is to simply serve as ricotta scrambled eggs with asparagus and chive yogurt sauce, another brunch option.
This recipe was the best of several we’d been testing out with asparagus, including a farro and asparagus salad and an asparagus, artichoke and spinach pesto pasta that didn’t make the cut. Do you have any favorite asparagus or spring recipes? Let us know.
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 handful chives (2 tablespoons chopped)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1½ cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 corn tortillas
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Wash the asparagus and chop it into 1-½ inch pieces. In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, cook the asparagus, stirring occasionally. After 3 minutes, add ¼ cup water and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Taste a piece, and continue to cook until the thickest pieces are tender. Optional: prepare a bowl of ice cold water, and place the cooked asparagus in the ice water for 1 minute (this keeps the asparagus bright green, helpful when preparing in advance).
- Chop 2 tablespoons chives. Mix the chives with 1 cup Greek yogurt and a scant ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Add small amounts of water (up to 4 tablespoons) until a creamy consistency is reached.
- Drain the ricotta cheese of any excess liquid. In a medium bowl, crack 8 eggs and whisk them together until well-beaten. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Tilt the pan to ensure the entire pan is coated in the melted butter, the pour in the eggs. Keep the heat on medium low. When the eggs just start to set, use a flat spatula to slowly scrape sections of eggs, creating folds. Scrape occasionally until the eggs form soft folds; turn off the heat just before they are fully hardened. Add dabs of ricotta cheese and a few pinches of kosher salt. Mix in the cheese roughly while the heat is off, then remove the eggs to a bowl to avoid overcooking.
- To serve, place the scrambled eggs on a tortilla and top with asparagus spears and yogurt chive sauce.