I have an irrational fear of hipsters. It scares me when a man's pants are tighter than mine and his hair has a more natural tousled look than I could ever pull off. For the record, do you know how hard it is to get that tousled look? It involves a quarter-sized dollop of hair product that costs approximately what you'd pay for an opera-singing parrot, a diffuser that looks a bit like a medieval torture device, and most importantly, that illusive light touch. In short, it takes an awful lot of time to make your hair look like you spent no time at all on it.
And what is up with those plaid shirts?!? I rocked a plaid shirt every day in the eighth grade and no one thought it was cool. Here we are, fifteen years later and some skinny dude on a yellow bicycle wears a plaid shirt and suddenly the entire city is wearing plaid shirts. What gives?!
And yet, at least once a week, I face my fears and walk to my favorite lunch spot, a place teeming with hipsters, for their fantastic roasted asparagus. Not a sandwich, not a salad (like it would EVER be a salad!), not even a dessert. No, I walk a good twenty minutes in my blisters a'plenty heels for a vegetable! I stand in line making awkward small talk about everything from bands I've never heard of to the latest flavor of kombucha (and I have yet to figure out what kombucha is). I get up to the counter and upon noticing the clerk's faded "Hope" t-shirt, feel forced to make some ridiculous, "So how 'bout them elections" type comment, before placing my lunch order which always includes an extra order of their roasted asparagus with Meyer lemon and Marcona almonds.
And then, last Thursday happened. I went through the entire oh-so-painful routine detailed above (heck, I even Googled kombucha beforehand), got to the counter, made some obligatory election reference, and placed my order. Only to be told they were out of the asparagus. Now personally, I think such a development is at least worthy of a declaration in neon lights or at least a giant Sharpie-written PSA on poster board.
So, I did what any faux-hipster would do under the circumstances. I shrugged and nonchalantly opted for another veggie side like it was no thang. But it was a thang! It was totally a thang! It was a twenty-minute-walk-in-painful-heels-and-putting-up-with-crazy-hipster-talk-in-an-absurdly-long-line thang! And it was then that I vowed to make my own fancy pants asparagus.
And that's just what I did. I didn’t have any Marcona almonds so I used regular ol’ almonds I got from the bins at my local grocery story. And to be honest, I didn’t have any Meyer lemons. Heck, I didn’t even have any fresh lemons so I just used lemon juice. And you know what? The asparagus was still fantastic. I planned on portioning these out for lunches for the week. But these spears are just so darn tasty, I couldn’t stop eating them as I was portioning. So yes, you should make a giant batch.
So sayonara hipsters, ours paths will not be crossing anytime soon. Except darn it, the lunch spot makes a fantastic roasted chicken with preserved lemons. So yes, cya later this week, hipsters. I will remember to re-Google kombucha before I come.
1 pound asparagus
2 tb. olive oil
1 tb. water
2 tb. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup almonds (chopped or sliced
salt and pepper
Heat dry pan until hot and toast almonds until fragrant. Remove from heat. In the same hot pan, add oil. When hot, add garlic and cook 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Add asparagus and water. Stir and cook uncovered until almost all of the water has evaporated. Cover pan and cook 1 minute. Uncover and stir. Cover pan and cook 1 minute. Uncover and stir. Continue this process until asparagus is tender crisp. Add lemon juice and toasted almonds. Stop eating the asparagus so you actually have enough for lunches for the next week.
Recipe adapted from American Food.