I know what you're thinking. Asparagus is for springtime. And it is February in Wisconsin. But, people, it has to be springtime somewhere! And I'm in the mood for asparagus. Plus, it just dropped in price at my local grocery store. So I figured we'd all better start preparing for when asparagus season does get into full swing. In that vein, I've decided to offer up one of my favorite, refreshing asparagus recipes.
This is a "whatever I happened to have in my fridge and pantry" version of Mario Batali's Asparagi alla Geremolata, which I made a couple of years ago as a side dish (and after thought) to serve alongside some celebrity-like main dish. It must have been duck, or beef or something. Point being, this asparagus stole the show.
Until I found this recipe, I'd steam asparagus, roast it, or throw it in a salad. Apparently, in Italy, this isn't a new recipe at all. But it is new to me, and I thought it just might be new to you. Plus, some of my lovely readers have been petitioning for a healthy recipe or two. So here you go. Something about biting into a crisp asparagus spear and tasting a familiar flavor mixed with bright citrus notes is exciting. As is healthy eating.
Asparagus with Citrus and Garlic
Adapted from Mario Batali's Asparagi alla Geremolata
1/2 pound asparagus
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest of one orange
Juice of 1/2 of one orange
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
Prepare asparagus by snapping asparagus stalks in half and discarding of the woody bottom halves of the stalks. In a medium pot, boil water. Nearby, place a medium bowl full of cold water and ice. Submerge asparagus in the boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, until the asparagus is tender, but still crisp and bright green. Once the asparagus hits this step, transfer the stalks to the ice water (with a spoon or tongs). After a couple of minutes in the ice water, remove asparagus stalks and place on paper towels to dry.
In a medium bowl, combine the citrus zest and juice, garlic, olive oil and salt. Mix together thoroughly with a fork. Add the dry asparagus and let sit for a few minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and pour remaining liquid over the asparagus spears. Enjoy a refreshing, healthy, vegetable side dish.