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.
- 10 lemons
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice
- 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
- Trim the tips off of the lemons and discard. Place two tablespoons of the salt in the bottom of a sanitized canning jar.
- 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.
- Pull open the lemons and sprinkle the inside generously with salt. Pack the lemons in the jar and press down to extract the juice.
- Pour in the additional lemon juice, enough to cover the lemons, and top with remaining salt.
- Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for 3 days, turning upside down daily.
- Place in the refrigerator and turn daily for 3 weeks, or until the lemon rinds soften.
- Combine the preserved lemons and the olive oil and let marinate overnight.
- 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.
- 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.