“A” for Asparagus
The other day, my parents were passing through town and we popped over to see my boss’ garden. There’s lettuce galore right now along with other leafy greens and the beginnings of other things, but what I was particularly enamored with was her asparagus bed. It wasn’t but just a few years ago that I hated asparagus, and now I can proudly say that I’ve eaten it 3 times this week and just writing about it makes me crave some more (and I just had it like an hour ago.) I bent low to admire these little asparaguses (asparagi?) popping out of the ground while mom picked lettuce and Dad and Kelly discussed the trials of getting a good crop of tomatoes.
My friend Erin will attest to the fact that cooking asparagus in the Bordeaux kitchen has often been synonymous with setting off every smoke alarm in the house. No matter what we tried, it seemed that it never cooked super well (either too tough or too burned) and we’d have to open all the windows and fan the smoke away from the detector. Then one day, quite out of laziness, I hit upon the perfect way to cook it. I’d bought some fish from Whole Foods that needed to be cooked for 20 minutes at 400 degrees in the oven, and since I didn’t want either the main dish or the side dish to get cold while the other cooked, I decided to just throw it all in there at the same time and crossed my fingers. The result was delicious and I’ll never cook it another way again. So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make an impressive and healthy side dish, I bring you this “recipe” if you can call it that.
*1 bunch of asparagus
*about 3 teaspoons of olive oil
*ground sea salt
*ground pepper mixture
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Rinse off asparagus
3. Cut about half an inch off the bottom of the stalks and throw the tiny pieces away (the end with out the fluffy part.)
4. lay all the asparagus out on a cookie sheet….the kind with a lip (otherwise it’ll all roll off and that would be a pain.)
5. lightly brush the asparagus with the olive oil using a pastry brush (silicone or bristles…either is fine) until there is a light coating of oil over all the stalks. (This is the key step. Just a thin coat. Brush, don’t pour.)
6. sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over all stalks.
7. bake in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes.