On Addictive Asparagus

So a few weekends ago, Daisies (one of our absolute FAVORITE dining spots) sent out an email that they were going to be holding a very strictly monitored pop-up market that was in support of the small businesses that support the restaurant and help make it what it is. So naturally, we were in from the start. Shop small? You betchya. Support the local farms and farmers that inspire the amazing creations that come out of Daisies kitchen? Oh, no question. So, armed with gloves, hand sanitizers, and our face masks, we braced the stormy weather and found a parking spot right out front where we waited about 20 minutes in the car until the first person arrived in line. Then, we quickly evacuated our car and hopped in line, braced against the rain with our rain jackets and umbrella, and then THERE IT WAS. 10am. IN WE WENT! Ugh, and of course, I was a little eager beaver and knew EXACTLY what I was going to be leaving with, AT LEAST….pasta. Fresh, Daisies pasta…how could I not!? It’s DAISES!!!

Anyway, we left with enough to craft a really outstanding dinner (Daisies’ Italian Sausage Meatballs with fresh Pappardelle), and then I saw it, a table entirely filled with asparagus (green AND purple), and while I’m grabbing a bunch of each, Frankie is behind me snagging some frozen fresh sausages for a brat night down the road, some pork chops for a good grill day, and of course, bacon. Asparagus, bacon, okay I’m starting to see the shadows of a favorite recipe of ours, and then I see Frillman’s Farm with green garlic (a more pungent spring onion), and that’s it. Done. We’re going to have asparagus that night.

AND THEN…ugh, I go to remind myself of what’s needed for the Addictive Asparagus that is, honestly, my absolute most favorite way to make asparagus, and I see it. IT HAS CHANGED!!! Now, in my very humble opinion, if you have a great recipe that’s a crowd pleaser and in NO WAY has any glaring deficiencies…DON’T CHANGE IT! I looked over the recipe, and while I don’t want to come off as bashing another person’s perspective on their recipe or palate, but the additions weren’t necessary. They don’t add anything extra or new to the dish, and it’s just, it’s too much. Sometimes less is more you know? So I closed the browser, sad and disappointed, and then put on my apron and got to work (as you do). It’s not a complicated recipe, and once I started going through the motions again, it all just flooded back. SO! I am presenting the recipe that I remember, the recipe that has made asparagus lovers of many an asparagus nay sayer, and I guarantee you, this side dish will be CLEANED OUT. Promise. Guaranteed.

Hoping all of you reading this are staying safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

The Best Asparagus Ever

Ingredients – Serves 6

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut on a bias
  • 4 oz of bacon (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • EITHER 1 cup of leeks (halved and sliced thinly) or 1/2 cup spring onion, thinly sliced
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add your bacon. Cook until it starts to crisp up, but not fully cooked (about 6-8 minutes)
    1. If you’re using leeks: throw your butter and leeks in at the 6 minute mark
    2. If using spring onion: add your butter in at 8 minutes (or when your bacon is just about cooked through and just starting to crisp up)
  2. Regardless of whether you’re using leeks or onions, once your bacon is at that point of starting to crisp up, add your asparagus. Mix well, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the lemon zest, garlic, spring onion, salt, and pepper – stir well, let cook for 1-2 more minutes, then take off the heat. SERVE! With pasta, ham, warm bread, you name it, it’s flexible.

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