(Above: Asparagus should be fresh and bright green with tightly packed tips. Photo by Kylie solong via creative commons license.)
Here’s another recipe that embodies the philosophy of RootsLiving: simple and delicious.
It’s quick too. You can make it in about 5 minutes. And it should be made close to serving time, so I usually save this side dish for last.
The secret is in how you peel and trim the asparagus and I learned from a master: by watching Jacques Pepin on TV. You can watch him do this here. What you want to do is get rid of the tough part of the asparagus towards the bottom of each spear. The tough part begins where the color begins to change.
The key is peeling the asparagus and then trimming it toward the bottom, just before it starts to change color. That's the tough part (and you want to get rid of it).
- Fresh asparagus
- Butter/Olive oil (A little dab will do ya.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Step 1 Prepare each stalk by laying it flat on a cutting board and then peeling off the top layer of skin from about half-way down the stalk with a vegetable peeler. Then snap off the end. You want to cut off the tough bottom of each spear, which is where the color begins to change. (Watch video above of Jacques Pepin doing this.)
- Step 2 I then pour a little water into a frying pan (just enough to cover the bottom), add the asparagus, a little salt and pepper and then cover and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes over medium low heat. The asparagus should remain crunchy, not mushy.
- Step 3 I shake the pan occasionally as it cooks. The asparagus is steam-cooked in this way.
- Step 4 Add a dab of butter and a little bit of olive oil and cook until melted. Serve hot.