Asparagus, a stalk of much promise is often reduced to mediocrity through uninspiring recipes like simple creamed soup and steamed with a pat of butter. For over 2000 years it has adorned the plates of epicureans. A member of the lily family it is a fresh crisp perennial beacon of warm weather. High in vitamins A, B, C, K and full of folate, asparagus is heart healthy and good for your digestive system.
The first time we tried this recipe, we stayed true to the original from 101 Cookbooks. As with all of Heidi Swanson's recipes it makes the most of the seasons bounty and sheds a light on more flavorful ways to enjoy. This time we made it our own. It was a perfect weeknight meal during the seasons first heat wave.
- 12 spears of thick asparagus, sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
- 5 - 6 broccolini (or broccoli) florets, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp Gremolade
- 3 large radishes, washed trimmed and very thinly sliced
- 2 cups cooked orange lentils (Masoor Dal)
- 1/4 cup Simple Vinaigrette (or more to taste)
- 1 cup chopped greens (I just used beat greens)
- 1/4 bermuda onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, and coarsely chopped
- a bit of shaved parmesan
- Salt to taste (we used Chive Salt)
To cook the asparagus, place a splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of Gremolade in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the asparagus and broccolini. Toss well and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook for one minute. Stir again, taste a piece, and cover again for another minute - but only if needed. You don't want to overcook the vegetables here, they should be bright and with a bit of bite to them. When the vegetables are cooked, remove them from the heat and stir in the radishes, lentils and remaining Gremolade. Taste, add a bit of salt if needed. Toss in the pine nuts, onion and greens with the vinaigrette, adding more and a bit of salt as needed .
Turn everything out onto a platter and finish with some shaved Parmesan.
More ways to use those super veggies:
Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini