Asparagus: Cook Once, Eat Twice
Asparagus is a key player in my spring-vegetable lineup. And it’s so delicious that sometimes it shows up in more than one meal in the same week, first as a side dish and then as the main event.
Here’s my asparagus strategy:
As winter slides into spring, I’m cooking the last of my cold-weather dishes, like braised short ribs. To give this hearty dish a touch of the new season (and to give the meal balance), I cook asparagus to serve on the side (cooking two bunches so I’ll have plenty left over for a second meal).
The main goal in preparing asparagus is not to over cook it: the stalks should still have a little bit of crispness (overcooking creates soggy, texture-less vegetables). Then I toss it in butter as in this recipe for Butter-Glazed Asparagus, or serve the stalks lightly salted with a drizzle of toasted sesame or olive oil.
I cook the short ribs in my pressure cooker, which cuts the actual cooking time in half. Once you get everything in the pot, the recipe is pretty low-maintenance, so don’t be dissuaded by the cooking time. These short ribs come out tender and delicious and are well worth the wait.
My second meal starts with Easter eggs! When I hollow out the eggs to begin decorating the shells, I use the raw eggs to whip up a quiche. And to make it a tribute to the season, I add beautiful stalks of green asparagus (those I’ve already cooked up as extras when I prepared the short ribs).
Asparagus Quiche is a festive Easter dish that also happens to be a time saver. (You can make it a day ahead, and simply reheat it just before serving.) I add a scant amount of bacon to add a hint of saltiness and it pairs so well with eggs and asparagus. If you’re looking to lighten the cooking load, you can use frozen premade pastry (premade pizza dough works well too). Don’t ever worry about keeping quiche warm, as it’s actually best served at room temperature.