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It's spring in New York, and we're all about asparagus. Fat, thick and sweet or slender and tender, there's no better time of year to get it than right now. In this simple, one-skillet warm salad, pancetta is cooked until crisp, then the asparagus is sautéed in the rendered fat along with leeks (luckily, spring is when leeks are at their sweetest and tenderest as well), citrus zest, toasted pine nuts, and parsley. It's a dish that comes together in just a few minutes, yet is packed with flavor—one of the greatest things about the season.
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About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.