Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Asparagus, anyone?

I was going through one of my favorite food blogs yesterday (that's the Marketman for you), and he made broccoli sautéed in olive oil and garlic and chili, which inspired me to make a similar version (without the chili) with the vegetable in season here, the asparagus, which is one of the most nutritious, well balanced greens around. For the health concious, asparagus is low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol, is very low in sodium, and a great source of potassium and fiber. So after work, i went quickly to the local grocery, chose about a dozen of them, and also bought some Prosciutto al forno (ham baked in those brick ovens). The hubby called up earlier to say that he was coming home around 8 pm, so i had ample time to prepare. I washed the asparagus, cut about an inch at the bottom and discarded them, then peeled the outer layer of the stems but leaving the tips intact, and then cutting the stems into small pieces. I put them into boiling water for about 2 minutes, starting with the stem parts, then the tips last. After draining the hot water, i washed them with cold tap water, then continued to immerse them in a bowl of cold water with some ice cubes while i cut some garlic, heated a pan, added some olive oil. I then sautéed the garlic till it was brown, then added the asparagus, some salt and pepper, and mixed them lightly. I never overcook my vegies, so as soon as it reached its soft-enough-but-still-crunchy state, i removed it from the heat. It was perfect timing as the hubby came home so i just had to transfer it to a plate, added the slices of ham, put some of that lovely olive oil sauce on the meat, and, eh, voila, a light meal at the day's end. Before we ate though, i just had to take a picture, then afterwards while showing him the cropped pic, he says it does not do justice to its taste. I'll take that as a compliment. :)


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