May 05, 2008

Balsamic-glazed asparagus

I found this recipe several years ago in the NY Times magazine and it's been a spring favorite ever since. My poorly-lit photo does not due it justice. I usually make it with the first local asparagus of the season and it's incredibly delicious — and easy of course. We actually had it a bit prematurely this year when my husband couldn't resist a bunch of trucked in California asparagus. I'm sure the veggie was great in California, but fresh local produce is much more satisfying. My favorite is from our CSA - the sweet nutty flavor of the asparagus is completely different from the ordinary supermarket variety. Well, I couldn't wait for the local stuff so I made the recipe anyway, and it was good. But, I'm still waiting for my Harmony Valley asparagus so I can enjoy the full-flavored version of this wonderful recipe.

Balsamic-glazed asparagus (based on a recipe from the NY Times)

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil, plus some for the skillet
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. Add oil to a large a large non-stick skillet (I use a regular wok) and heat.
2. When the oil is hot, add the vinegar. When the vinegar sizzles, add the asparagus and spread out. Reduce heat to medium high and cook, turning the stalks frequently to coat with vinegar, until they are bright green and crisp-tender, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks. Grind fresh pepper and salt over the top, to taste.

4 to 6 servings - unless you really like asparagus! My husband and I eat them all.

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