Simple recipe to take advantage of the last days of summer!
Treat asparagus like flowers, and keep them in a vase under water, covered with a loose plastic around them to protect the tips.
In this recipe I like to boil the asparagus, but you can also grill or roast them. You can serve this recipe either as an appetizer, or as a side dish. And I always buy an extra bunch to add to my breakfast omelet the next day!
1 pound asparagus, about 1 bunch
3 tablespoons salt for boiling water
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 slice of bacon, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
2 small shallots, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cut the woody bottom off the asparagus and peel it, leaving the flower part intact.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and baking soda. Submerge the asparagus in the water and cook until they just become soft. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath and then let them cool completely. Remove from the ice bath and let them dry on paper towels.
- In a medium sauté pan, add the olive oil and bacon and cook over medium heat, until lightly crispy, about 2 minutes.
- Lower the heat and add the shallots, stirring occasionally, being careful not to brown them, about 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
- Lift the saucepan a few inches above the heat and add the cold pieces of butter. Shake the pan back and forth until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the asparagus to the pan and reheat over very low heat, being careful not to boil the sauce (if you boil a sauce that contains butter, the sauce will break). Add the parsley.
- Transfer the asparagus and sauce to a plate and serve with the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.