Recipe Type: Side Dish
May is the Month of Asparagus – the finest vegetable on earth, in my (never humble, when veggies are concerned) opinion. Here’s a classic and easy recipe. While I’ll say I developed it, it was really told to me in broad Florentine Italian by an 80-year-old lady in Italy while we were both shopping for vegetables at a wonderful fruit and veg shop in the Oltrarno section of Florence. But I translated it, so I’m going to take credit for it! You, however, have to imagine an aged lady approximately 4 feet tall, all in black and built like a very healthy barrel – hair perfectly coiffed and with many very nice rings on her fingers – energetically demonstrating (in the middle of a produce market at 8 am on a clear and lovely morning in Italy) how to properly shake a pan of sizzling asparagus spears.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus (generally about a pound)
- Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
- This easy recipe for asparagus requires olive oil, garlic, salt, a frying pan and about 10 minutes. First, wash the asparagus, cut off any tough ends, and dry with a kitchen cloth or paper towel. Heat the pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. Peel and slice two cloves of garlic and place them in the pan with the olive oil; when the garlic pieces have begun to release their aroma into the air (about a minute or two on medium heat) add the asparagus. Turn up the heat to medium-high. The idea here is to pan-roast the asparagus in their own juices and to caramelize the outside just enough to add a toasty aroma, but not to cook enough to render the asparagus flabby and overdone. You’ll want to turn/shake the asparagus a few times to make sure cooking is even on all sides, and after a few minutes add a little salt. Use your own judgment to decide when the asparagus is done, keeping in mind that the thickness of the spears will determine the cooking time. It may take anywhere from 4 – 7 minutes depending on thickness. When the asparagus is finished, turn out onto a plate and serve. If you want to be a festive you can festoon with some freshly-shaved parmesan….