Asparagus Sheaves

March 19, 2021 • Nancy Wolfson-Moche

Tomorrow is the spring equinox when hours of daylight and darkness equalize.  In many climes it is time to sow and harvest cereal grains like barley, oats and wheat. Jews mark the time between Passover when the wheat is planted and Shavuot when it is harvested by counting the days (the “omer”) and praying for ripening and a bountiful harvest.

Traditional hand reapers bound stems of grain together into bunches, called sheaves. I blanched and tied these asparagus stems that resemble grain sheaves to represent the healthy harvested grain we envision as we plant.

Ingredients to serve 2

14 asparagus

1 scallion

2 lemons

For the sauce

2 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon umeboshi plum paste

2 tablespoons lemon juice (and more to taste)


Make the sauce

Whisk together the tahini, ume plum paste and lemon juice until consistency is smooth and all ingredients are well-combined. Taste and adjust.

Blanch the asparagus

Trim each asparagus stem and use a peeler or paring knife to shave the tough outer skin of each. Rinse and set aside. Rinse the scallions.

Fill a medium-sized skillet about 3/4 full of water.

Add a pinch of salt and bring water to a roiling boil.

Drop the asparagus spears into the water. When they turn a more vibrant shade of green and float to the top of the water’s surface, they are done (this should take about 2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus stems). Use a wire mesh strainer to fish them out of the water.

Now cut the scallions lengthwise into about 4-6 strips each. These will be used to wrap and tie the asparagus. Bunch together 7 of the blanched asparagus spears and wrap a length of scallion around them one or two times; then tie it.

Cut one of the lemons into wedges.

Arrange each asparagus “sheaf”, tahini sauce and a lemon wedge on a plate and serve.





Icing on the Cake: Testimonials

I loved Ms. Nancy’s cooking class so much.! I have been in this cooking class for two years and I would love to sign up for another one. I tried a lot of new foods like winter squash, cardamom, Brussels sprouts and kale. My favorite salad was the kiwi, carrot, radish salad.
Not only did we cook and eat, we also did labs about food. We used rulers to measure the size of plants. We also explored stone fruits and their ripe season. Now in my house we have window boxes and I am growing cherry tomatoes and basil.
I learned that we can use a lot of different tools to cook, not just our hands and senses. We used safety knives, potato peelers and a carrot sharpener (I wonder if you could sharpen a pencil with it?) !!!
Because of this class I can help papi make dinner and I will try any new food at least once to see if I like it. Thank you, Ms. Nancy for making cooking fun and interesting and helping me be excited about food.

- Love, K (a 7-year-old boy).