Asparagus

About three years ago, I had grilled asparagus at a 4th of July BBQ.  It was delicious, in part because of the sea salt & pepper and high quality olive oil.  These days, while I may have a kitchen that’s larger than a closet, I still do not have a grill.  I thought the olive oil and sea salt just might be enough to carry this vegetable that I am not particularly fond of.

The stalks of asparagus were seemingly calling me at the grocery store.  They just looked so pretty, and green, and fresh.  It would seem like blasphemy to be a vegetarian and not be excited by such a vibrantly photosynthesis loving vegetable.  I bought them, deciding to cook them that night (a Sunday).  Well, they remained for about 6 days, tucked in the vegetable drawer.  When they finally saw the light of day, as opposed to the light of the refrigerator I was a little concerned about their freshness.  I bought them at a grocery store that is known for its cheap prices, though not the highest quality to an undiscerning eye.  But, to my penny-pincher, waste-not-want-not delight (surely a gene from my Gamy), they were good enough.

It was the night before the big Pear Blossom run (a 10 miler) and my friends Sara and John were in town for the event.  We were cooking up the pasta at my house as the pre-race dinner.  On the menu with the wheat pasta + spinach, tofurkey marinara was asparagus.  Between the two of us, Sara and I created a bit of a recipe with some things I had in refrigerator.  John, not being much of an ominvore (as in prefers to be a carnivore), politely looked.  We sauted some garlic in a little olive oil and Sara thought to add some lemon juice.  I snapped off the ends of the asparagus (you could cut this off, but it’s more fun to feel them break — also a good sign that they are fresh). And, let’s be honest, ever since watching Gigi with my mom & sisters when Gigi is busy prepping the green beans (you know–right before they start singing “The Night They Invented Champagne”), I’ve always like the idea of snapping off the ends of vegetables.

Snapping the aspargus

Add these pieces to the pan along with a handful of sun dried tomatoes and cover, on medium to low heat for about 5 minutes. I can’t say that I’m entirely smitten, but it was good enough for that moment.

Voila.

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6 thoughts on “Asparagus

  1. Yum! Another easy thing is to roast them in the oven.

    Supposedly the best way to keep asparagus fresh is to treat them like a flower: put the ends in a glass of water in the fridge. I always do this, I’m not sure if it works or not (not having bough so much asparagus at one time that I’ve ever run scientific comparisons) but it seems to work for parsley!

    They look like they were tasty enough, however old they were!

  2. ps–I never think of Gigi with asparagus but do think of it every single time I make green beans. How funny! I am sure I will think of Gigi with asparagus from now on too though.

  3. I don’t know if this is true for green asparagus, but I definitely know how to keep WHITE asparagus (which is really typical German food this time of the year – asparagus season starts end of April) fresh. You have to wrap it into a moist dish towel so that everythings is covered and then you put this package into a plastic bag. And this plastic bag goes in the fridge.

  4. Ok, this is a question. I just got broccoli rabe from the farmer’s market. I will admit. I had never heard of it before but I guess I was in the dark because now I’m seeing it everywhere. Even Rachel Ray was using it today on 30 minutes. My question is-does any one know a good recipe for it? I have a ton left and would love to do something other than saute it.

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