Monday, February 8, 2010

The Best Way to Serve Asparagus

According to my dad, the answer to this would be "not at all," but I definitely disagree. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and I have about a dozen ways that I like to fix it. This is probably my favorite:

First, make sure that you buy the best asparagus. Contrary to what some people may believe, you DO NOT want the fattest stalks. Go for the longest, skinniest stalks that you can find - these will have the best flavor and texture. Farmers' markets and roadside stands at farms are the best places to get good asparagus, of course, but you can still find some palatable stalks in your local grocery store.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spread some olive oil on a cookie sheet. After rinsing your asparagus stalks thoroughly and chopping off about one inch of the bottom (this section has little flavor), line up the stalks side by side on the cookie sheet. You'll want to place them as close together as possible without being on top of one another. Next, slice up a large white or yellow onion. Spread the rings so that they cover the asparagus. Sprinkle on some minced garlic (a staple in my kitchen), a generous amount of parsley, some sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. I like to sprinkle a bit of six pepper blend on next, but some people (such as my mother) may find this too spicy for them. Next, sprinkle on some crumbled feta (another staple for me) and some shredded parmesan (the powdery Kraft stuff is okay, but it will not taste nearly as delicious). Bake this delightful concoction in the oven for 18 minutes. Since I love baked onions, I go nuts over this dish!

I do not recommend serving this if you have plans to kiss anyone immediately after eating, as the garlic and onions will give you horrible breath. If you're worried about your breath, chew a fresh sprig of parsley after eating, then gargle with mouthwash with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in.

This is what it should look like before going into the oven. I forgot to photograph it again after it came out, as I was too eager to consume it!

No comments:

"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"