Stinky Pee Is A Small Price To Pay.
It is time. The asparagus is here. Once a year, in the spring, the asparagus rises from its ashy sarcophagus and delights its followers once again.
Mr. Meat and Potatoes travels extensively for his job, and that presents some, shall we say, issues, for his pregnant wife. Like, WHO WILL MOW THE LAWN? And WHO WILL FIX THE BROKEN STORM DOOR? It sure the hell won't be me.
Thankfully, one of my best girlfriends and her squeeze just moved into my hood, so I bribed him with cash and asparagus to come and mow my lawn on Wednesday night. I love an excuse to make asparagus for a receptive audience, as Mr. Meat and Potatoes will choke it down, but doesn't fully appreciate it. He'll take a canned green bean, anyday.
Basic Bribery Asparagus for Three
1 bundle fresh asparagus
2 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 pinch kosher salt
cracked black pepper
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
Note: I always snap the woody ends off of my asparagus. Basically, if you just grip both ends and start to bend, it will snap itself off in the right place.
Heat the olive oil over med. heat in a good skillet - I prefer cast iron. Toss in your asparagus, salt and pepper.
Turn up the heat just a little and cook the asparagus, not turning it, for five minutes or so, depending on how thick it is. You're looking for it to get a little brown. Brown is GOOD.
Turn it over, and repeat on the other side, this time adding in the garlic, lemon zest, and a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I always squeeze my lemons with the rind side down, and let the juice run over my fingers. This way, you avoid putting seeds in your dish.
After the second side is nice and brown, give them a good stirring around and maybe taste one to see if it is done enough for you. I prefer to retain some of the turgor in the asparagus, but some people like it cooked through and limp. I don't like limp food.
At that same meal, I made a cold orzo pasta dish, dressed in balsamic viniagrette, with feta, shrimp, fresh basil, grape tomatoes, red onions, orange bell peppers, and black olives. Next time, if I'm not roasting asparagus as a side dish, I think I'll use asparagus tips in the pasta as well.
And, there's this recipe, don't forget.
The best news of all, is that Pendleton's Country Market will let you come out and PICK YOUR OWN asparagus, fresh from the brown dirt of Douglas County. Also, they have asparagus crowns available for planting in your Backyard Paella Garden.
I'll be heading out there this weekend, if anyone wants to carpool. Because I'm all green and eco friendly that way. Last night, when I got a ride home from Free State with The Subversive Cultivator, he warned me that he refers to his vehicle as "The Compost Car", and I will forthwith be adopting that moniker for my own G-Ride, so if you ride with me, you'll have to sit atop papers and other odds and ends (can't promise they won't be organic), but just know we're doing our part for Al Gore, by composting in my car, and riding together. I promise to try not to sing along with the radio.