Tag Archives: asparagus

Asparagus and Bits of Bacon (plus Crab and Grapefruit Salad)

Happy French Friday!  This is going to be short and sweet today.  Plus, it’s a double French Friday since I missed last week.  Between having a sick child, doing the taxes, getting ready for Easter, and working on a super-secret sewing project, I’ve been busy!

We’ll start off with Asparagus and Bits of Bacon, a simple and delicious side dish.  This one is so easy!  Asparagus is cooked until just tender, then tossed with walnut oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Cooked and chopped bacon is then heated briefly with finely chopped onion in some  of the bacon fat, and spooned over the asparagus.  The onion is hardly cooked; just warmed slightly.  I was a little worried about the taste of raw onion, but rinsing the chopped onion before heating took the bite away.  I really liked the taste of the barely cooked onion and bacon together!  My one complaint about this dish is that it took some coordination to get a bite that included the bacon, onion, and asparagus together, since the onion-bacon mixture did not “stick” to the asparagus.  This would make a lovely side dish for Easter.

Next up is Crab and Grapefruit Salad.  This refreshing salad combines grapefruit, crab, cucumber, red bell pepper, and green onions, and is tossed with a bit of olive oil, Tabasco, lemon juice, and fresh mint.  I topped mine off with some arugula tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  This was a delicious way to enjoy crab and made a lovely spring dinner.  I only wish the weather had been better.  This salad makes you want to eat outside on a warm, sunny evening!

For more French Friday with Dorie results, check out frenchfridayswithdorie.com!

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Asparagus Giovanni

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the asparagus!  I love it when asparagus is in season.  We eat it often while we can!  One of my favorite ways of preparing asparagus is this quick and easy pasta dish.

“Asparagus Giovanni” can be found in The Northwest Best Places Cookbook.  The cookbook contains recipes from some of the best restaurants in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, Canada.  “Asparagus Giovanni” apparently comes from a restaurant called Giovanni’s on Pearl, located in Ellensburg, WA.  A quick Google search on the restaurant brought up no results (other than a reference to the cookbook), so I’m not sure the restaurant exists any more.

Everything in the Pan

One thing I love about this recipe is that everything (except the pasta) is thrown into the frying pan and then cooked all at once.  This makes preparation super easy!  You can really make this whole recipe in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta.

The end result is a delicious, satisfying vegetarian meal.

Asparagus Giovanni

Asparagus Giovanni

(click here to print)

  • 1 pound dried fettuccine or other pasta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut in to 1-inch lengths
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (about 2 ounces)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the asparagus, mushrooms, wine, olive oil, garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes in a skillet and bring just to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, until the asparagus is just tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes.  Most of the liquid should have evaporated.  If the liquid evaporates before the asparagus is cooked, add a little water.  When the asparagus is cooked, stir in the basil and add salt and pepper to taste.

When the pasta is cooked, drain well and return it to the pot.  Add the butter to the hot pasta and coat well.  Arrange the pasta on warmed serving plates and top with the asparagus mixture.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Serves 4

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