Nothing quite says spring like asparagus. Sure, you can get it year round, but the tastiest asparagus appears this time of year. Your best option is to try to locate some at a farmer’s market, but even if you don’t have one nearby, be sure to ask the produce people in your supermarket when the asparagus arrived in the store and from where it came. Closer and fresher is what you’re looking for.
I generally roast asparagus these days because the caramelization they achieve from the oven makes them thoroughly delectable. And it’s quite easy too: just douse with olive oil and sprinkle on salt, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 425 until they get good and brown. Generally about 15-20 minutes.
Now that the spring asparagus has arrived I am just as likely to steam them or poach them in lightly boiling water until they have just softened. About 5 minutes or so; you do not want them to become limp and mushy. Think “al dente.” Pictured here, you can see that I top them with crisp, crumbled bacon – any kind you like will work, including turkey bacon – and finely diced shallots or red onion. Dressing is good olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar or lemon juice if you prefer. Don;t forget salt. And…voila. Some beautiful eating.