|This Asparagus with Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette was simple and bursting with flavor.|
This easy recipe for barely-cooked asparagus drizzled with lemon-mustard vinaigrette was part of the asparagus binge I got started on after I made Roasted Wild Salmon and Asparagus with Double Lemon Oil. I guess if you're going to binge on a certain food, it's much better to go on an asparagus binge rather than binging on some of my former favorite binge foods like Cheetos or or Fritos, wouldn't you agree? And there are so many ways to make asparagus taste amazing with little effort, that when I see asparagus start to appear in the market every spring, I usually can't resist buying some!
This asparagus recipe came from a cookbook by Jack Bishop called Vegetables Every Day; a book that's one of my favorite sources for vegetable recipes. In this book I've found so many interesting vegetable recipes like Carrot and parsley Salad, Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini, and Roasted Radishes with Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Seed. If you're growing vegetables and might like a good book to help with ideas for cooking cooking them, I heartily recommend Vegetables Every Day. (Full disclosure, if anyone clicks through that link and buys the book from Amazon.com, Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a few cents on the dollar, so thanks!)
To trim asparagus, first take hold of a piece with both hands and break it. You can tell where the woody part of the stem starts by where the piece breaks. Then trim all the other pieces to that length. I like to cut asparagus on the diagonal, but it's not necessary.
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 pound of asparagus (about 18-20 oz. after trimming) but this was good the next day, so you might want to double it.
Mix together fresh-squeezed lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and salt and fresh ground black pepper, then whisk in the olive oil to make the vinaigrette.
Bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil, add asparagus and cook 2-3 minutes (no longer!) Asparagus should be barely tender-crisp.
Put the asparagus in a colander and let it drain 1-2 minutes so the water has run off. (Some recipes plunge the asparagus into cold water to stop the cooking, but I like to cook it a minute or so less and not cool it down, because I want it to still be very hot when it's served.)
After the asparagus has drained well, spread out some paper towels on your cutting board, add the asparagus, and blot dry with paper towels.
(Makes 4 servings, recipe adapted slightly from Vegetables Every Day.)
1 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus stalks, ends trimmed and cut into two pieces
2 quarts water + 1 tsp. salt to cook asparagus
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice, or slightly less if you're not that into lemon (I used my frozen fresh lemon juice)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste)
3 T extra-virgin olive oil (use good quality olive oil for this)
Fill a large pot with 2 quarts of water, add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil.
Hold a piece of asparagus in both hands and snap to see where the end breaks off. (This tells where the woody part of the stalk begins.) Trim all asparagus pieces to this length, cutting on the diagonal, then cut again so each stalk is cut into two pieces about 3-4 inches long.
In a small glass measuring cup or bowl mix together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and fresh ground black pepper, then whisk in the olive oil. (I used a little less oil to make the dressing slightly more lemony. If you're not that into lemon you might want a little less lemon juice.)
Put trimmed asparagus into the boiling water, stir, and cook for 2-3 minutes. (Use a timer to be sure you don't cook it longer than that. You want the asparagus to be slightly tender-crisp when it's taken off the heat.) Drain asparagus into a colander placed in the sink and let sit for 1-2 minutes, until all the water has run off. Then put a layer of paper towels on a large cutting board, put asparagus on top of towels and blot dry.
Arrange the asparagus piece on a serving tray, drizzle lemon-Dijon vinaigrette over, and serve. This is also good after it's been in the fridge overnight. It can be reheated quickly in a hot frying pan or just served cold in a salad.
South Beach Suggestions:
The South Beach Diet encourages eating at least 2 cups of vegetables per day, and asparagus is one of those wonderfully low-glycemic vegetables that's allowed for any phase of the diet. Eat this as a side dish for phase one with something like Pork with Paprika, Mushrooms, and Sour Cream, Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar, or Quick and Easy Spicy Broiled Shrimp. For phase two or three you could add something like Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan.
More Ideas that Might Make you Binge on Asparagus:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Asparagus with Garlic from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Tahini-Peanut Dipping Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lightly Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Ten-Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice from 101 Cookbooks
Asparagus with Fried Egg and Parmesan from Steamy Kitchen
Asparagus with Maple-Tahini Dresing from Gluten-Free Goddess
Grilled Asparagus and Proscuitto Panini from Panini Happy
Red Quinoa and Asparagus Salad with Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette from Poor Girl Eats Well
Spinach, Asparagus, and Shrimp Salad from French Cooking for Dummies
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)