You might be totally invited to roll your eyes on the simplicity of this recipe. It’s not even a recipe. It’s extra like a plating, a means of getting asparagus from market to desk that I’ve been hooked on for over a yr.
Right here’s what makes it excellent: I like sauteed, roasted, and grilled asparagus, particularly when the spears are scorching scorching and have crackly, charred spots, a mixture of textures. However every of those strategies has a tiny flaw, and that’s timing. Roasted and grilled asparagus are wonderful piping scorching off the flame, however shortly after are a bit soggy. Nonetheless good, positive, nevertheless it goes additional downhill the longer you wait to eat it. Poaching asparagus and popping it in an ice water bathtub preserves this perfectly-cooked, crisp-tender, vivid inexperienced second in time… for days.
This poached, cooled asparagus waits patiently till you’re prepared for it and if you find yourself… you simply dump it on a plate. [“Nobody writes recipes quite like the Smitten Kitchen!” said nobody, today at least.] Drizzle it with olive oil, lemon juice, crunchy sea salt, and purple pepper flakes (I’m utilizing these) to style and, when you’re us, you might have a small puddle of (gasp!) mayo on the aspect for dipping, however when you hate mayo, and also you’re about to inform me you do, you might additionally use a lemony or garlicky bitter cream or yogurt sauce too, or a lemony tahini dressing, or actually any dressing that makes your asparagus sing. What I can not clarify is why that is so inhalable — I typically make it and depart it within the late afternoon partly with an eye fixed in the direction of dinner prep, partly so anybody residence can have one thing to graze on, and it simply vanishes. Chilly, boiled asparagus! Gone in half-hour! It’s both wizardry or simply objectively good and I’d be positive with both.
1 pound contemporary asparagus, woody ends trimmed or snapped
1 lemon, halved
Flaky sea salt
Pink pepper flakes
1 to 2 tablespoons mayo or one other dressing
Organize the asparagus on a big plate and drizzle generously with olive oil, the juice of the primary half of the lemon, flaky sea salt, and pepper flakes. Put the dressing in a tiny bowl off to the aspect and have the second half of the lemon on the plate if the spears want extra. Seize and dip spears to your stomach’s content material, or till the spears disappear, whichever occurs first.