As young kale, lettuce greens, spring onions, radishes and asparagus begin to emerge from winter’s rich, wet soil, they’re already making their way on to Civic Hotel’s catering menu. This early season produce celebrates the flavours, colours and freshness of May in British Columbia, brightening everything from lunch wraps and sandwiches to a wide range of vegan and vegetarian dishes on Civic Hotel’s catering menu.
From his position at the helm of the Civic Hotel’s in-house kitchen, Chef Rajeev Arora is ecstatic about the arrival of a new season of locally grown produce. “It’s the time of year I really look forward to. I start playing around, because spring fruits and vegetables add so much colour and freshness to a dish. They’re also grown right here, so the quality is fantastic and I can source them locally.”
He’s already working one of his seasonal favourites, asparagus, into the delicious, creative dishes being served to guests attending business events at the Civic this spring. This tender, bright green vegetable packs a nutritional punch, boasting no fat or cholesterol as well as plenty of vitamins and antioxidants. It’s used in one of Chef Arora’s favourite preparations, prepared as follows.
Asparagus with Parmesan and Toasted Almonds
- 1 lb BC asparagus
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup toasted almond slivers
- Cooking time: 20 min.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Grease the baking sheet with olive oil. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, lemon zest and thyme. Layer them on the baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for 8 to 10 min, until asparagus is soft and tender. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garnish with toasted almond slivers.