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.
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.