Wisdom Comes Suddenly

Winter Asparagus Bundles

December 3rd, 2013 · 3 Comments

Winter Asparagus Bundles

I’m not a huge fan of asparagus in season (spring), let alone the itsy-bitsy stalks I see in the stores in winter. However, I do cook a lot of asparagus, because it’s grown on me over the years, especially when chopped and tossed into a Pancetta Pasta dish. Greg loves it, and that’s enough for me to make it.

I’ve always read to bend the asparagus (it will naturally break where it should), and then very, very lightly peel it.  I can’t peel the shoestring winter asparagus, so I’ve never purchased it. Until today.  Today, it was just so green.  There’s not a ton of great produce in winter, and I often go to the store with just a number of vegetables needed on my list. I don’t decide until I get there exactly what I’ll be buying, because I have to buy what looks the best. Today, that asparagus was screaming at me.  What was I to do?

I bent it, washed it, and grouped it into 4 little piles. I tossed it with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.  I then cooked 4 strips of bacon to the 75% done point, and wrapped each bundle with a strip of bacon, securing with a toothpick.  I cooked it at 425 for about 10-12 minutes.

OH MY GOODNESS.  Turns out, I love tiny, little, unpeeled stalks of asparagus.  It was so flavorful, and not at all the pungently woody flavor of the spring version. It was almost sweet, and then adding the salt of the bacon…yummy! Make sure you keep the asparagus stiff, and what you would think of as slightly undercooked.  You want it to be crunchy and bright green coming out of the oven.

I served it with a marinated flank steak (red wine vinegar, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic), and fried red potatoes.  All in all, not our healthiest dinner, but sometimes I’ve just got to spice up our weekday dinners!

 

 

Tags: Vegetables

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Karin w // Dec 4, 2013 at 7:37 am

    My kids like winter asparagus better too and I make it – basically blanched in salt water – as an after school snack for them. It’s one of the few veggies that I don’t eat (not a squash fan either except for summer squash).

  • 2 amy // Dec 4, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I’ve never heard of peeling it. But now I have to try it.

  • 3 Stephanie // Dec 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I may have mentioned this before but we prefer the skinny asparagus! In the spring, I search out the thinnest I can find. We are big asparagus eaters: steamed, roasted, sauteed… love it all. Just NOT soggy!