Seasonal Specials: Beloved Washington Produce

Asparagus Prosciutto

After an unusually cool spring, the Yakima Valley's asparagus crop finally stirred from its slumber, awakened by the warming temperatures. The 2023 harvest season kicked off almost three weeks later than usual this year. But once the mercury hit the 70s and 80s, it set the pace for an energetic harvest. These heat-loving spears, which can sprout an astonishing 7 inches in just a day, suddenly burst forth from the soil, much to the delight of growers and food enthusiasts alike. 

Alan Schreiber, executive director of the Washington Asparagus Commission, anticipates a bumper harvest this year. “One year ago we had the latest start to the season we’ve seen,” Schreiber told the Seattle Times. “This year we had almost as late of a start because the cold weather delayed the harvest. Then it got really warm really fast, and so much asparagus came out. It was incredible and it looks like it’s really high quality. The asparagus just exploded from the ground.” 

To put things into perspective, the Commission expects growers across the state to harvest an impressive 18 million pounds of asparagus in 2023, a considerable leap from last year's 15 million.  

At Pagliacci, we're thrilled to witness this asparagus bonanza. It signals the return of our beloved Asparagus Prosciutto Primo — the pizza that launched our seasonal offerings 30 years ago — a dish we had to delay by a month due to the weather. This delicacy champions the nutrient-rich local asparagus, which brings a burst of flavor, fiber, and vitamins to every slice. We roast the tender asparagus and layer it with prosciutto, Taleggio — a mild cheese with a fruity tang — and mozzarella over an olive oil base. Give it a try, and you'll see why this one's still in circulation.

Our second seasonal, also featuring a seasonal sensation from Eastern Washington, is the Crostata, a paean to the nation's best sweet onion: the Walla Walla sweet. So heralded is this onion that then-Governor Christine Gregoire named it the state vegetable in 2007. To make our Crostata, we slice the mild onions, caramelize them for a rich, buttery sweetness, then layer them generously over an olive oil base, topped with gorgonzola, mozzarella, and fontina cheeses. Onion lovers, rejoice! 

In the gelato department, Funfetti from Gelatiamo is back. Dive into a vibrant blend of freshly baked, colorful cake pieces crumbled into delicate morsels and stirred into a creamy mascarpone base. Sweet, tangy, and unapologetically joyful. Your spoonful of happiness awaits.

Publish Date: June 15, 2023