Asparagus. It’s that time of year again when the hearty perennial is fresh, readily available and on almost every menu. I love asparagus – even as a kid I liked it.
Over the years I’ve seen it prepared in many ways, and have been instructed to cook it in several preparations (trimmed, peeled, and blanched in heavily salted water; grilled; seared on a flat top grill; butter poached; etc.). In my experience asparagus cooks up best with simple attention. I like to trim woody bottoms, rinse, and either cook over high heat in a sauté pan with minimal fat, or grill over high heat until crisp-tender.
Here’s a quick and easy preparation served with seared hangar steak:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ white onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon anchovy paste
2 bunches asparagus
½ lemon, zested and juiced
2 Roma tomatoes, de-seeded, julienned
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon Butter
Heat oil over high heat in a large skillet. Stir in onions and anchovy paste. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions just begin to turn brown at the edges, about 3 minutes.
Stir in asparagus and lemon zest. Cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus just begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes just begin to break down and asparagus is tender crisp, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, stir in butter until butter is just melted and coats vegetables. Serve immediately.