Dinner tonight is fresh asparagus. It is actually almost getting to the end of asparagus season but I LOVE fresh asparagus. I will only buy it in the spring so that I know it is not being brought in from Chile…how can it be fresh when it is flying all the way from Chile? I do not feel fresh even after flying as far as Seattle so I try to keep it local.
In the past I would travel to Keremeos and buy the asaparagus that grew around there. One of the best asapargus trips was picking my own fresh asaparagus along the Thompson River near Spences Bridge and cooking it over a campfire later that afternoon. However, seeing as I am now living in the Big Smoke, I walk up to the local green grocer with the twins in their Mountain Buggy and buy it as local as I can.
To prepare the asparagus I wash it as thoroughly as I can under cold tap water. Then I snap the bottom off at the point furthest down the stalk where it breaks easily. Sometimes it seems wasteful to break off and compost the tail end but if you have tried to eat it…yucky stringy mess that it is.
After washing and snapping each stalk I drop them into a pre-heated frypan that I have already added a tablespoon or so of olive oil into. Careful now because the water on the washed stalks will mix with the hot oil and splatter quite a bit. Be careful.
Using a wooden spoon I gently roll the stalks back and forth in the pan until the stalks have all turned a beautiful bright green, typically 3-4 minutes. Unload the bright green stalks onto a dinner plate and return the fry pan to the turned off stove top element. Drop in a dollop of butter and let it dance around in the pan until it has completely melted. Pour the hot butter and olive mix over the asparagus stalks and then sprinkle with some good quality balsamic vinegar and sea salt.
Serve on a bed of basmati rice or enjoy the asparagus on its own. Pure, delicious bliss!!