Native Asparagus with Feta and Lemon Oil

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Everything’s coming up green and chef Peter Davis is at the ready with a recipe featuring of-the-season asparagus. He poaches the local stalks until tender and partners them with creamy feta, peppery arugula and infused lemon olive oil. As a bonus, he’s even included all the details on preserving your own lemons to give the oil a zesty, homemade boost.


Servings: 6


For the preserved lemons:
  • 10 lemons
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
For the asparagus:
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemons, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds native asparagus
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 12 ounces feta
  • freshly cracked pepper


For the preserved lemons:
  1. Trim the tips off of the lemons and discard. Place two tablespoons of the salt in the bottom of a sanitized canning jar.
  2. Cut the lemons in half lengthwise, cutting 90% of the way through. Then rotate the lemon and cut the same way to make 4 joined quarters.
  3. Pull open the lemons and sprinkle the inside generously with salt. Pack the lemons in the jar and press down to extract the juice.
  4. Pour in the additional lemon juice, enough to cover the lemons, and top with remaining salt.
  5. Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for 3 days, turning upside down daily.
  6. Place in the refrigerator and turn daily for 3 weeks, or until the lemon rinds soften.
For the asparagus:
  1. Combine the preserved lemons and the olive oil and let marinate overnight.
  2. Remove the stems from the asparagus and discard. Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil. Poach the stalks until just tender and then remove to an ice bath.
  3. Wash and dry the arugula and arrange on a plate with the asparagus and feta. Drizzle with the lemon olive oil and sprinkle with pepper to taste.

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