Green Lines and Ham

Spring is in the air, and I have been waiting to share this post with you for an entire calendar year. Could there be a better time to look for lines? I think not.

Line is one of the foundational elements of art. It is a path, defining points moving in space. We engage line everyday. From writing letter forms to traveling, we co-mingle with lines, almost unconsciously.

The budding trees provide linear arrangements. Check out my beautiful indoor arrangement of lines!

There are lots of linear plants in full swing during the spring, and asparagus maybe the most famous spring line of them all. So join me on this path as we explore lines with asparagus pointing the way!

Lines are often one-dimensional, but three-dimensional objects, like asparagus, have overwhelmingly linear qualities. This stalky vegetable will be our line guide for the day.

Lines can be singular.

Lines can be grouped.

There are lines of different lengths… some are short; some are long.

And there are lines of varying weight. Some are thin; some are heavy.

Some lines are straight…

And some lines curve…

Some lines communicate more than others. Some lines are vertical (or horizontal), while others are diagonal. Lines communicate information and stability through character and direction in space!

Lines can vary in color! (Check out this skinny purple asparagus! I love them!)

Would you eat them on a boat? Would you eat them with a goat?

So, now that we’ve talked about lines… would you like to eat some? Here I have a washed bundle of medium weight green asparagus. Even Sam I Am wouldn’t have to convince an omnivore or picky flexitarian to eat these green lines with ham!

I’m peeling the rough exterior to reveal…

a beautiful pattern of tiny-lines beneath the skin. The lines keep on coming! This step is for function and for fun.

Look! Even the texture under the surface is linear.

I’m discarding the skins off to the side as I go.

Dear Asparagus, you now have pinstripes!

I’ve skinned half of the stalks here. Look at the vivid green! What a brilliant color.

And we’re done.

The skins are inspiring. They’re not that rough. Um… I kind of want to eat them. Wouldn’t these curvy lines be beautiful piled on a piece of salmon or mixed in a bowl of greens? Oh Asparagus, you are the mother of linear foods.

The ends are a bit rough, so let’s pop ‘em off.

No knife required on this one! I just pop the stalks between my thumbs and my fingers and the base pops right off!

All right!

Dear asparagus, you look cold. I think it’s time that you get rolled!

Okay! I’ve got my asparagus shaved and popped, a stack of proscuitto and a parchment lined baking sheet.

Would you roll them here or there? I would roll them anywhere!

If you don’t have easy access to prosciutto, bacon or another thinly sliced salty meat would work. (If you don’t eat meat, just drizzle the stalks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.)

The meat is like glue. It sticks to itself. You don’t even need salt and pepper (if you add it, it will be too salty!) Plus no additional oil is needed. The oil from the prosciutto will keep the asparagus tender and moist. No dry asparagus here!

Once you’ve wrapped and arranged all of the lines onto the baking sheet…

Pop them into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes (or until the meat is slightly crisp)!

Wow! Can you smell it?

The smell is intoxicating. I popped this set in the toaster oven, and about fifteen minutes later…

Check out these crisp-tender little beauties! Yum!

This line up is the perfect fast food. The tender asparagus of early spring lends itself to the perfect outcome, but you will find asparagus well into June.

I love making these to accompany pizza or as a pre-outing appetizer with drinks. Since the clean up is practically non-existent, this is a go-to recipe when in a pinch!

I hope you enjoy playing with line as much as I do!

Could you eat them on a plane? Or daydream that you’re in Spain?

Eat them here or eat them there, eat them, eat them anywhere!

Special thanks to my dear friend Katy for helping me take some of the photos!

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  • Candice

    I love dipping these in a mustard aioli, too!