OK, maybe it isn’t exactly local or even possibly sustainable, but sometimes I really have no choice. When I saw this asparagus, well, it just sort of inveigled its way into my reusable bag. I mean, I’m all about supporting the local folks, just ask anyone, but wow…
I suppose I shouldn’t really call this “Texas” two-step since it is a system/recipe I learned in France. But, I figure since I’m making it here rather than there… well… let’s just call it “artistic license”, okay?
Anyway, this is really simple, really fast, and works just as deliciously with skinny green beans. Oh, and you can make it ahead an hour or more. Also, since it is best at room temperature or just barely warmed, and there is no scary mayonnaise in it, it transports very well for picnics pr potlucks.
All that is involved is cutting off the bottom maybe two inches of the asparagus (or trimming the beans), steaming, then sautéing (two cooking steps, right?). Easy enough? I make a whole bunch of asparagus at once, then I can use it in salads or chopped up with pasta, or on pizza (more on this in a later post at some point, oh my!) or just as a snack out of the fridge!
Here’s more specifically “how-to”:
Texas Two-Step Asparagus
1 pound of fresh asparagus, trimmed
cold water to steam
2-3 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
fresh lemon for juice and zest
Put the asparagus in a steamer over cold water, cover, then turn the heat on. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and steam the asparagus over simmering water. Check starting at 2 minutes from when the water boils for skinny asparagus like this, or at 3-4 minutes for thicker stalks (insert a sharp thin knife into the base of a stalk or two – mind the steam!). When it is about 1/2 cooked, still al dente, remove from heat and uncover.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is just turning golden. Add the asparagus (use tongs and be careful – it can spit!) and toss to coat. Cook for maybe one more minute and just before it seems done enough, remove from heat (remember: you can always cook things more). The asparagus will continue to cook a bit as it cools.
Toss with a bit of lemon zest and a drizzle of lemon juice. Serve at room temperature or barely warmed for best flavor.
Honestly, the whole process takes maybe 10 minutes – barely time for the kitchen to heat up! This makes a nice starter course, or a yummy adjunct to fish, chicken, pretty much anything!
How do you fix your asparagus? Please share!