The other day, I mentioned that I served my Chipotle Orange-Herb Chicken with asparagus. While I normally consider asparagus a spring vegetable, I happened upon some at the farmer’s market the other day, so I jumped at the chance for some locally grown, fresh asparagus. It happens to be one of my favorite vegetables. I could eat my weight in asparagus. (Okay, maybe not, but I did eat about half of this recipe alongside my chicken!)
This recipe is not my own. It comes from Simply Recipes, an absolutely splendid food blog hosted by Elise Bauer. Unbeknownst to her, Elise was a great influence in the creation of Tasty Eats At Home. Back before I started Tasty Eats At Home, I barely understood what a blog was, much less understood the need for one. The only people that I knew that had blogs used them as a personal soapbox of sorts, a place where they could share their thoughts and opinions. I didn’t understand the draw, at first. But when I came across Simply Recipes, I began to understand my calling. Elise used her blog as a place to archive and document family recipes (at least, that’s how it all began). I thought this was a grand idea, and I could share my recipes with readers (of which I didn’t have many, at the beginning!), family, and friends. A little over a year later, Tasty Eats At Home has become many things: a gluten-free recipe and cooking blog, a place for me to organize and archive recipes (I do cook from my own recipes fairly often!), and perhaps most importantly, it is a continually evolving, growing being, reflective of my changing interests and experiences. I love that Tasty Eats At Home holds me accountable, forcing me to grow in an area I love the most – FOOD! I thank Elise greatly for creating her blog, and inspiring me to do the same.
Now that that’s all overwith, to the recipe. This is an asparagus dish that hardly needs a recipe, it’s so simple. But yet I turn to it again and again, as the lemon zest brightens the dish, making each bite irresistable. Many times I’ll omit the Parmesan, just to make it even lighter. With immensely fresh asparagus and a fruity, tasty olive oil, you hardly need much more adornment.
Steamed Asparagus with Lemon, adapted from Simply Recipes
1 bunch of asparagus, about 1 lb
2 T high-quality extra virgin olive oil
2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 t lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
Break off the woody ends of the asparagus, and cut into 2-inch sections at a diagonal. Place a steamer insert into a medium-sized saucepan and fill with enough water to come just to the bottom of the steamer, and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and steam for 2 minutes, or just until you can pierce with a fork with a bit of resistance. (It shouldn’t be super-crunchy, but you wouldn’t want it to be mushy, either. A slight crunch is perfect. I won’t tell if you sneak a piece to “test.” I do.) Remove from heat, and remove asparagus from steamer insert and place into a bowl. Toss with olive oil, Parmesan (if using), and lemon zest. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4, or if I’m around, 2.