Well, just as we all expected, New York went straight to summer from our long, miserable winter. No spring to speak of – just rain and cool days – enough warmth to bring May flowers but not much else. Returning from San Francisco last week we walked off of the plane to 95º and steaming sidewalks. So, we immediately took to the country where we are usually guaranteed weather at least 10 degrees cooler. And, of course, it was just as hot there but that meant we could leave the kitchen and get the grill going.
Since the soft shells didn’t know that it was already summer, they were still on the spring menu. Lynn, my buddy, had ordered up a mess of them and managed to pick enough asparagus before it bolted in the heat. What a feast we had – soft shells, asparagus and green garlic, and fingerling potatoes – all off the grill. We finished with some Pierre Robert and La Roche cheese that I had picked up at Zabar’s and a handful of the first strawberries of the year.
You can find hints for grilling soft shells in a June 2010 post. For the asparagus and garlic, I simply tossed them with olive oil, fresh lemon zest, and salt and pepper. The potatoes were par-boiled and then doused with evo and cracked black pepper. So simple and sooooo good!