Spring is Here! Asparagus with Dates & Hazelnuts!

I just received my issue of Bon Appetit and they have a section on cooking with dates.  Pasta with dates (sounds odd to me); Chicken with dates; Cookies with dates and asparagus with dates.

I love dates (most any dried fruit, really).  I eat them straight out of the bag and you know I love me a good date-nut bread

Deglet Noir or Medjool, it matters none, as long as they don't have sulphur dioxide in them (so many dried fruit does.....look at the label).

My favorite is purchased on amazon from California, I go thru a huge bag monthly.  Click here to order.

I had never thought of pairing dates with asparagus, but why not?  I pair them with roasted carrots.....so here goes.

The recipe in the magazine has you add goat cheese....I did my own thing (as I usually do) and added my delicious beet pesto and some toasted hazelnuts on top.

If you don't have roasted beets lying around to make the beet pesto, then I would suggest plating the asparagus and dates over a dollop of hummus......just saying.

Perfect for Easter or Passover.....bright and pretty, just like spring.

I loved this so much, it could be a thing.

Here's how I made it:

a big bunch of thin asparagus spears
beet pesto (optional), use hummus if you don't want to make it
handful of dates, chopped
handful of toasted hazelnuts, chopped
sliced watermelon radish (sorry, good luck finding them)
half a lemon
olive oil
drizzle of honey
sea salt & pepper

Spread some beet pesto or hummus on a platter.

Blanch/steam your asparagus.  I rinse the spears off then put them in a skillet with a tiny bit of water on the bottom of the pan.

Cover the pan and steam for 2-3 minutes only.  The water will evaporate and the spears will be bright green.

Using tongs, plate the asparagus over the pesto/hummus.

I sprinkle about a tbsp of lemon juice (red wine vinegar works too) over everything........a drizzle of good olive oil and a drizzle of honey.

Season with sea salt & black pepper.

Throw on the toasted chopped nuts and dates.  
Decorate the platter with the beautiful watermelon radish slices and call it a day.