Fresh Herb & Asparagus Lasagna
Purists will scoff, but you really can make lasagna out of just about anything. The vegetarian version here gets all its wonderful flavor from fresh asparagus, that crowning glory of springtime and longtime bearer of erotic lore. In the Greco-Roman world, many a historical heavyweight wrote about asparagus, such as 'father of botany' Theophrastus, Apicius, Cato, and the Roman poet Martial (whose colorful Epigrams include an ode to the asparagus cultivated in the marshy areas around Ravenna).
Widely associated with matters sexual in nature throughout the medieval period—as a cure for impotence and infertility, an aphrodisiac, and even a contraceptive—asparagus was not to gain solid footing in the Italian culinary realm until the Renaissance, and even then remained within the purview of the noble classes. Today, thankfully, asparagus in all its varieties is readily available this time of year, even to us plebeians.