Asparagus, Asparagus and more Asparagus
Hi. I can feel myself approaching my asparagus mania (I love the stuff) but I hate cooking veggies, even though I love to eat them. I usually just steam, give a squirt of lemon, pat of butter and s & p. Any other ideas of how to serve and with what?? I've already used in frittatas and other egg dishes and risotto. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I had to post this one - last night I had a teacher's conferance over my 2nd grader. She had liked my son's essay so much that she had it posted in the general area of the school. While I love asparagus, apparently he does not. His essay was "Why asparagus makes me puke". With associated drawings. When I quizzed him on it he replied "But Dad - that was before I realized how bad it makes my p*ss stink". *sigh*
I stir-fry asparagus with garlic and sambal belachan (a Malay/Peranakan mixture of ground toasted belachan , ground red chillies, ground dried shrimp, sugar, salt). This method is similar to the kangkung belachan dish at many Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants, e.g. Penang (NYC, Boston).
Alternatively, I stir-fry with garlic and soy sauce.
Now you got me in the mood for spring :)
I love seared or grilled asparagus that everyone already mentioned. There are lots of fun things you can do with it after it's cooked. My favorite are to wrap whole spears in proscuitto, or to make a salad of cut up asparagus, halved cherry tomatoes, and valbresso feta, and drizzle with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. This salad always disappears first when I make it for picnics and cookouts.
I also like aparagus soup hot or cold. Here is the recipe:
Here is my recipe for Asparagus, Cucumber and Pasta Salad, which is based loosely on a Bon Appetit 1994 recipe.
ASPARAGUS, CUCUMBER AND PASTA SALAD
4 cups water
1 cup fun-shaped small pasta (stelline, orzo, or melon seeds)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups diced English hothouse cucumber
3 green onions, chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (or 2 tablespoons dried dill)
salt & pepper
Bring 4 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add pasta; return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until done, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse; transfer to bowl. Cool to room temperature.
Cook asparagus in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well. Add asparagus, cucumber, green onions, and cilantro to pasta.
Combine Dijon mustard, sugar, vinegar and dry mustard in small bowl. Gradually mix in oil. Add chopped dill. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover salad and dressing separately; chill.) Mix dressing into salad. Season with salt and pepper.
re: Anne in SF
I use fresh asparagus with mushrooms for a fast & simple pasta that is super addicitve.
pasta with asparagus and three kinds of mushrooms
portobello (1 or 2, depending on how mushroommy
brown or button mushrooms
lots of herbs - thyme, basil, rosemary, sage etc
dice/chop asparagus and mushrooms into small cubes. in a large skillet, heat olive oil and sautee asparagus first. toss in the mushrooms after a couple of minutes. season with liberal amounts of herbs.
when the asparagus mushroom mixture becomes well coated with olive oil, cover the skillet for about five minutes so the veggies become slightly steamed in their own juices. remove cover and salt to taste. toss with pasta
If, for any reason, you've got some asparagus leftover, cut the spears into short lengths to be incorporated into polenta. I, not being of Italian heritage, think that polenta needs a lot of help in the flavor department. Ergo, I play with it until it tastes like something good.
Combine the leftover asparagus with some sauteed onion. Take a cup of plain ol' stoneground cornmeal to which you add either 3 or 4 cups of water in a microwave-friendly casserole of some depth. I like my polenta thick, hence I use only 3 cups of water. Add the cut spears and the onion to the cornmeal mixture along with some Italian seasoning plus chile de arbol flakes if you are brave enough for that. Stir all this stuff together. Place in your microwave and nuke for 6 minutes (the highest wattage of our trusty old nuker is 650).
After the 6 minutes has elapsed, stir the polenta and nuke for another 6 minutes. When the time has elapsed, the polenta should be thickened. Pour the stuff into a shallow baking pan of a volume great enough to contain the polenta and allow to cool enough to slice and serve, or just serve with a spoon if it is the consistency of hot breakfast cereal.
Tweaking the flavor in subsequent preparations is entirely up to you. I don't add salt and ground black pepper because chiles and herbs do the flavor trick for my palate.
This is my favorite, it's has TAbasco but it's not spicy at all, more oriental:
Cook asparagus (I microwave mine 5 or 6 minutes).
In skillet, brown 2 tsp sesame seeds in 1 Tbsp butter; add 2 Tbsp lemon juice, dash salt and 1/4 tsp Tabasco. Pour over cooked asparagus and garnish with lemon slices. (I've also added rice vinegar)
With the really good asparagus I pick from my garden(which I won't see for a while yet) I saute with Olive oil, a little salt ground black pepper and some red pepper flakes.
For salads I omit the red pepper and top a salad of whatever I have around with the warm asparagus and some crumbled blue cheese with a sprinkle of Balsamic.
They are a good addition to any stir fry or pasta primavera.
Also good add them to a panini after sautéing. I prefer roasted pepper, onion, goat cheese with a little pesto or olive tapenade
I am sure this is a common recipe but we love (including our 7 year old daughter) to take young, small asparagus, trim the ends, place in a ziplock with a couple of tablespoons of good evoo, a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, gently shake, then 400 degrees for 15 minutes on a cookie sheet. We did it last night and generally do it at least twice a week.