One of my children like asparagus and the other 2 do not, and neither does my husband! So what am I supposed to do when I buy that big bunch of asparagus and only 2 of us will eat them? I decided today to try a new way to “market” the asparagus to the family. I cut just the bottoms of the asparagus up until the crown and mixed it in with string beans and add some flavorings that go over well with the family. My husband took a spoon full and thought it was all beans, it worked! This is how I did it:
Bunch of asparagus (cut everything but the crowns into little short cylinders)
2 handfuls of fresh string beans (cut into very small segments similar in size to the asparagus)
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup of slivered almonds
Freshly crushed kosher salt and pepper to taste
Zest of one lemon
Clean and cut the vegetables. Boil water in a large steamer pot. While the water comes to a boil, heat a large skillet on medium high with the butter in it.
Trick: Even in a recipe where I am using butter as the fat, I drizzle a little Canola or Olive oil on the butter while it melts – it helps prevent the butter from burning.
Once the skillet is hot add the slivered almonds and some salt and pepper, heat on medium for 3-5 minutes while you steam the vegetables.
Secret: Almonds are much like garlic in the way that they will get awful and bitter if you cook them too long and they go dark on you. Watch carefully that they do not get overdone.
The vegetables only need 4 minutes to heat through in a steamer basket to be cooked but still keep their vibrant green color. Once steamed, add the vegetables to the skillet and saute them around in the butter and almonds. Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the lemon rind. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if need.
Trick for trimming asparagus: Take the asparagus, even a few at a time, in your hand and snap them. Where it naturally breaks is exactly where it should, use the top half and throw the bottom away.
My young chef son discovered that if you mixed rice into these vegetables it tasted great. With rice it makes a nice vegetarian meal!