Adapted by Bon Appetit's version calling for zucchini and hazelnuts, I think this recipe can be prepared with any firm vegetable (eggplant, tomatoes, sweet potato) and any variety of nut - pistachio, hazelnut, slivered almonds - you have on hand. The olive oil dressing was amazing and I recommend you make a big batch to keep on hand at all times!
1 pound asparagus, ends chopped off
1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
¼ cup shelled pistachios
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 small bunch mint, divided
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
¾ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh ricotta
Flaky sea salt
Toasted country-style bread (for serving)
Preheat oven to 300°.
Toss pistachios and 1 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, shaking occasionally, until golden brown, 15 minutes. Let cool; crush into large pieces with a measuring cup or glass.
Crush 3 mint sprigs against your cutting board a few times to release their flavor; mix in a large bowl with garlic, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp. oil; set dressing aside. (Make a second batch for future eating!)
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high until shimmering. Arrange as many asparagus that can fit in row on the skillet in order to fit in a single layer, and cook, moving around in pan to ensure even browning, , about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Repeat until all asparagus is cooked.
Toss asparagus in reserved dressing to coat; season with kosher salt and black pepper. Let sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally, 15 minutes. Pluck out mint sprigs; discard.
Meanwhile, zest lemon half into a small bowl, mix in ricotta and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with kosher salt. Hang on to that lemon.
Spread lemon ricotta over platter. Top with asparagus and their juices. Squeeze reserved lemon over. Pull leaves from remaining mint sprigs (you want about ¼ cup). Scatter mint and pistachios over squash. Drizzle generously with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with toast.
We have to eat everyday, don't we?