Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simple Spring Asparagus

LFFC asparagus! Photo by CSA shareholder Zach Kassutto.

This recipe comes from Caesar Desiato, one of our CSA site hosts at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania. His recipe blog, Otaised's Blog (, is definitely worth checking out over the course of the season—Caesar is committed to providing readers with simple and healthy recipes for seasonal produce. For this recipe, he recommends a bamboo steamer " an essential piece of kitchen equipment... Bamboo steamers of all sizes can be found from Chinatown to for under $10.00. Steaming is quick, versitile, and really healthy."

Simple Spring Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus, 1 inch from the stem removed and steamed for 3 minutes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish. Dress with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm as you prepare the topping.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. As soon as it’s shimmering, add the bread crumbs and stir to coat. The texture will be like wet sand. Continue to stir and toast until you get a warm caramel color. Take the pan off the heat and toss in the cheese.
3. Spoon the topping over the asparagus and serve immediately.

Optional Additions:

  • Add an anchovy filet to the olive oil before adding the bread crumbs.
  • Forget the Parmesan and go blue!
  • Chop in some fresh herbs; tarragon, chervil and oregano go really well.
  • Make the entire recipe and allow to cool. Thaw out a package of Phyllo dough and follow directions for filling it. Add Feta cheese and fresh dill.

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