If you're a farmers' market shopper like me, you may find this time of year challenging: Going to the market is a fun outing, but there's just not a whole lot out yet in terms of fresh food, especially after the wicked winter we've had. Yesterday I visited the Baltimore Farmers' Market under the JFX with the sole intention of finding something...ANYTHING...that tastes like spring. There is no shortage of herbs, which led me to one of my favorite spring flavors: Dill.
If you've never cooked with fresh dill before, I hope you'll give this a try. It has a wonderful herby, springy-ness about it, and the tahini in the sauce (a paste made from sesame seeds) lends a wonderful richness. You can use any vegetables you like, but the asparagus and baby potatoes I included are also perfect for spring.
Spring Vegetables with Dill Sauce
For the Dill Sauce (from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz):
1/2 cup of tahini
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup of dill, lightly packed
Process all of the ingredients except the dill in a blender or Magic Bullet. Once the mixture is creamy and even, add the dill and pulse till the dill is shredded to small green flecks. (Note that the sauce will keep in the fridge for a few days, but it will thicken when it’s cold. Reheat gently to serve.)
For the Vegetables:
One bunch of asparagus, woody ends snapped off and stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
About 1 pound of fingerling white or yellow potatoes, quarters or chopped into bite-size pieces
About 1 pound of yams, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced OR 2 tsp garlic powder
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, then patted dry with a clean dish towel
Sea salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment. On one pan toss the potatoes and yams with half of the olive oil and half of the garlic. On the other pan, do the same with asparagus and chickpeas. Place both pans in the oven. 15 minutes in, toss the ingredients on each pan and switch racks if you used top and bottom racks to accommodate the two pans. Give the asparagus another 5-10 minutes to cook (for total cooking time of 20-25 minutes). The potatoes will need around 35-40 minutes to cook, depending on the size of the pieces.
To serve, lay a bed of potatoes in each plate or bowl, top with the asparagus and chickpeas, then drizzle the sauce over liberally.