Friday, April 30, 2010

Simply Seared Asparagus

A big thank you to all of you who voted on your favorite spring food. And the spears-down, ur hands-down winner is asparagus. Is it any wonder that the delightful asparagus - one of the first, fresh vegetables of spring - is so many people's favorite this time of year? Asparagus is reserved for special dinners and mother's day brunches. And, this elegant vegetable enjoys a certain sophistication that a string bean could dream of.

My favorite way to enjoy asparagus is simply seared. Crispy yet tender, perfectly seared in a hot cast iron pan and seasoned with salt and pepper. Follow these steps for the perfect side of fresh, seasonal asparagus.

Watch my totally DIY video on how to snap and peel asparagus stalks.

Preparing and searing the asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon grape seed oil
salt and pepper to taste

Take each asparagus and hold one end in each hand. Bring your two hands together and snap each stalk- the stalk will break at the point where it goes from tender to tough.

Once you have snapped each stalk, peel each one right up to the base of the asparagus tip so that the whole stem is peeled.

Using a pot or frying pan, fill with two inches of water and bring it to boil. Toss in the asparagus and flash boil it for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse the asparagus under cold water.

In a cast iron frying pan, melt one teaspoon of butter and one teaspoon of oil over a medium high heat. When the pan is good and hot, add the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. After one minutes, toss gently or rotate the sears until they are crisp and seared on all sides.

Sear the asparagus in the frying pan only for about 3 minutes being careful not to over cook. They are best enjoyed crisp yet tender, with a bright green colour and buttery taste.


Anonymous said...

You make the best Asparagus ever, Melody!
The 2 step cooking really does make a difference!
Why have I been cutting them tho?
Thanks for the lesson!

Melody Wey said...

Well thank you!

The thing with snapping asparagus to break the tough portion away from the tender top half is that sometimes it feels like a waste. Sometimes a full two inches breaks off. But just remember that this is the tough portion and your asparagus spears will taste so much better without it.

You can use the tough portion for soups or soup stocks if you're you're so inclinced. Just toss the ends into a ziplock bag or container and store in the freezer.