Over Rambutini cocktails yesterday, I promised we’d plan our entrée for a dinner party for this weekend.
(Have you invited your guests?)
And the entrée is . . . Muscato Grape-Shallot Pork Chops with Mashed Okinawan Sweet Potatoes and Citrus Steamed Asparagus.This Citrus Steamed Asparagus is going to brighten and lighten the plate a bit.
No need to even put them in the compost!
Tomorrow we’ll make the Puréed Okiwnawa Potatoes. Can you guess what color they are? Let me know (and don’t google them first!), in the comments below.
Citrus Steamed Asparagus and Crispy Asparagus Garnish
For the steamed asparagus:
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2- pounds asparagus
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Asparagus peels from the above 1-1/2-pounds asparagus
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the asparagus:
- Zest 1 lemon and set it aside in a small dish in the refrigerator for later.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Pour this citrus mixture into a large zip-lock bag. Set aside.
- Rinse and dry the asparagus. Then cut the bottom few inches (the tough portion), off of the spears and discard.
- Gently peel the asparagus spears and set the peels aside for to make the garnish.
- Place the peeled asparagus spears into the bag with the citrus mixture and let them marinate for about 1 hour, in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cover a baking sheet with a large sheet of heavy-duty foil and add the marinated asparagus in a single layer, if possible. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Wrap the asparagus in the foil so that it's completely sealed.
- Steam the asparagus in the preheated 400 degree F oven just until it's tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
While the asparagus is steaming, make the garnish:
- Coat the bottom of a small to medium-sized skillet with the olive oil. Once it's very hot, add the asparagus peels. (They should sizzle when you add them -- if you don't hear the sizzle, wait until the oil is hotter.)
- Sauté the peels until the begin to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside on a couple layers of paper towels to drain.
- Remove the asparagus from the oven and open the foil. Let it cool and serve as a side dish, garnished with the lemon zest.
- Add the asparagus garnish to whatever else you're serving -- or just eat it!
Recipe NotesIt's not always necessary to peel asparagus -- though it ultimately creates a lovely texture, especially on thicker spears. And it's a great opportunity to make the fun garnish.
Please note that 1 hour of the preparation time is simply marinating the asparagus.