Absurdly Addictive Asparagus
The title pretty much says it all. With her recipe, kaykay takes an already promising set of ingredients and artfully combines them in such a way that the resulting dish exceeds the sum of its parts. 2-inch lengths of asparagus, crisp-tender to the bite, take center stage in a savory tangle of leeks, pancetta, garlic, orange zest, parsley and pine nuts. The rendered fat from the pancetta, along with a knob of butter, is just enough to keep the vegetables from being dry without smothering the fresh flavors. The recipe is supposed to serve 4, but we could easily imagine polishing off an entire pan by ourselves. - A&M
• 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 3/8 inch to 1/4 inch dice
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced into 2 inch pieces on the bias
• 1 1/4 cup leek, thinly sliced crosswise (white and pale green parts only)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• Zest of one lemon
• 1 teaspoon orange zest
• 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
• 1-2 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large non-stick pan, sauté pancetta, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until crisp and lightly golden.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan. Add asparagus pieces and leek and sauté until asparagus is tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Add garlic, lemon and orange zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt and serve immediately.