Earlier this year I shared my current love of citrus through Lemon Tarts & Lemon Blueberry Bundts, but that craving for citrus even extends into my veggie dishes!
My husband taught me a cooking trick with asparagus. He holds a stalk at each end, then slowly bends it in half until it reaches its natural snapping point. This allows it to snap at where the heavy fibrous part meets the regular stem. It will make your asparagus more even in texture and never leave you with that awkward stringy end. This is something he picked up watching the Food Network cooking shows. I was always taught to just cut the very end off where the stalk is the harshest. Cutting it this way will leave you with more asparagus to work with, getting you more bang for your buck. What are your thoughts? How do you cut your asparagus?
To make this dish, I use a lemon salt that I keep on hand from the Girl & the Fig. I think that the dried lemon in it gives dishes an extra pop. If you can’t find any lemon salt, just make some of your own! Simply combine equal parts salt with lemon zest. For this recipe I used 2 teaspoons, so that would be 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Notice that these asparagus stalks kept their bright green color & firm texture. That’s because I steamed them for exactly 4 minutes & no longer. Then I immediately dropped them into an ice bath to stop them from continuing to cool on the plate. Marinating the asparagus before cooking, helps really make that flavor come through, even after an ice bath. Sometimes roasting or bbqing asparagus over cooks them. This steam then ice bath process (also called blanching), is a technique used to cook vegetables while keeping the flavor & the nutrients as intact as possible!
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon salt (1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon lemon zest, tossed well)
- 1 lime
- Wash asparagus well.
- Snap or cut off the ends of the stalks.
- Place in a shallow baking dish.
- Coat with lime juice & lemon salt.
- Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Place asparagus in steam basket.
- Steam for 4 minutes.
- Drop asparagus immediately into an ice water bath to shock it & keep it from continuing to cook.
- Drain & top with another squeeze of lime juice and sprinkling of lemon salt.
- Serve immediately.