Asparagus Burnout: Coping With Seasonality Disorder
It's asparagus season if you haven't noticed. Saturday morning, I started at Nopa with a shaved asparagus and pea shoot salad tossed with grilled thin slabs of Bodacious cheese. The next day, I was at Zero Zero diving into a heaping plate of asparagus, charred from the grill, tossed with black garlic and glistening with olive oil. That was brunch. When I wandered into the produce aisle to buy ingredients for dinner last night, asparagus spears as thick as broomsticks stared me down.
Out of curiousity, I just glanced at a few menus from some respected restaurants around town to see if any of them didn't have asparagus. The answer would be no. This week you can sip asparagus soup at Locavore in the Outer Mission, nibble on asparagus with tonnato and soft-boiled egg at Bar Agricole in SoMa or dig into a pizza laden with egg, pecorino and long strips of slivered asparagus at Uva Enoteca in the Lower Haight.
Faced with San Francisco's undying devotion to seasonality, I can't help remembering some of the menus I used to encounter when I lived elsewhere. Highly seasonal squash blossoms were always on the menu at the Mexican restaurant where I worked in Beaver Creek, CO. And I'll never forget one of my favorite New York hotspots, Bar Pitti, where caprese was what my friends always insisted on starting with—no matter if it was January.
While I'm all for chefs being committed to local seasonality, it doen't change the fact that I'm sick of eating asparagus. In fact, I might be giving it up until green beans roll around.