“I’m sick of asparagus already,” were the words that came out of my mouth two weeks ago before we had even seen asparagus at the farmers’ market. I’m not sure why. Maybe we got one too many out-of-season stalks this winter. Maybe I’m just a crank.
In any case, when Brad grabbed some thin, young asparagus at the farmers’ market last week, I inwardly groaned. And then later that week when he cooked them for dinner, I braced myself. Another obligatory vegetable side, I thought.
The asparagus he made and set in front of me was so good I couldn’t stop talking about it.
“It’s so perfectly cooked! It’s just the right amount of salty. OH, I just got garlic and that’s the BEST. I only want to eat these forever, no more other foods.”
But I might not have shared this simple sauté method with you except I’m in the middle of reading Tender by Nigel Slater. He makes even the most simple preparation sound exquisite and important. If he wrote this, he’d romance you with talk of how “the slightly sweet vegetal flavors of the asparagus don’t ask for much more than crunch almonds and a bit of garlic. These beguiling stems do well next to a plate of cold duck, though we had a memorable early spring evening of eating them with nothing more than a few fresh lettuces and a thick slice of salty feta.”
(I haven’t eaten these with either duck or feta, he just mentions those a lot. But otherwise I agree with fake Nigel.)
makes four servings
one bunch young, slender asparagus
2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Cut the bottom reedy inch off the asparagus, then cut the stalks in half (by diameter, not length-wise).
Warm one tablespoon oil in a skillet and add the almonds. Stir frequently for five minutes or so while they lightly fry. They will smell so good, but better smells are coming. (Believe it.) Toss in the asparagus–it will sizzle, a big pinch of salt, and the remaining oil. Cook for another five minutes or until the asparagus are just shy of how cooked you want them. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Serve immediately.