Two weeks ago the girls and I checked the asparagus patch, and there was nothing. Last night before dinner we picked about four pounds! It only took five minutes, and it was so satisfying. I love that wonderful ‘snap’ of the asparagus as we pick it.
Some spears are thick, some are thin, but the key is the freshness – they will all be delicious and tender as long as they are fresh. Asparagus tends to be sandy, especially fresh from the garden like that, so you do have to make sure that you wash it well. If the grit seems impossible to get ride of, you can always give the bottom of the spears a bit of a peel with a vegetable peeler, that should solve any grit problem.
I love roasting vegetables, it brings out all their subtle and sweet flavours, and asparagus is no different. Serve it with a simple vinaigrette and it is a side dish to be proud of.
First, wash about one pound of asparagus. Heat your oven to 500 degrees F. Spread the asparagus out on a baking sheet, drizzle with some vegetable oil, sprinkle with some salt, and place in hot oven for 8 minutes. That’s it, no longer, maybe even just 6 minutes if the asparagus spears are very thin.
While the asparagus is roasting, make your vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped shallots
1 tablespoon (15 mL) walnut oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon( 15 mL) maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon(2.5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped and toasted walnuts
Whisk together the shallots, walnut oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. When the asparagus comes out of the oven, gently toss it with the vinaigrette, and the sprinkle it with walnuts. Eat immediatley. Serves four. Or maybe only two asparagus lovers.