Asparagus often marks the arrival of spring, so naturally I had to make a simple dish that really showed off the wonderful flavor of this vegetable. I found the most beautiful looking purple asparagus, but have since read that it contains more sugar and less fiber than the green and white varieties. Regardless, asparagus is high in folate, potassium and antioxidants, while being low in calories. I also like the fact that Marcel Proust was quoted as saying that asparagus “…transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.” Nice.
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed (stalks peeled if they are on the thicker side)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt to season
2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar or champaign vinegar
2 shallots, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Prep your asparagus and place them into a container with 3 tbsp of olive oil and the minced garlic. Toss to coat and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. While you’re waiting, make the vinaigrette.
Place the minced shallot into a small bowl with the lemon juice, vinegar and salt. Allow this to sit for about 15-20 minutes in order to mellow out the shallot flavor a bit. Add in the olive oil and whisk to combine. You can also include a bit of chopped dill if you’d like, for some additional yumminess. Set the dressing aside while you cook the asparagus.
Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the asparagus pieces so as not to crows the pan (you’ll probably have to do 2 or 3 batches). Grill for about 4-5 minutes, turning the pieces so that they’re evenly cooked. You’ll want to get a little char on them. Make sure that the asparagus is tender, but still crispy and vibrant in color. Season with sea salt. Plate a few pieces with a drizzling of the shallot vinaigrette.