Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Asparagus with lemon zest and nutmeg.
Springtime is the perfect time to eat asparagus, otherwise known as the Vegetable That Makes Your Pee Smell Nasty. (Research has shown that most people indeed produce stinky urine after eating asparagus, but roughly 22% of the population lacks the ability to detect its peculiar aroma.)
That odoriferous side effect doesn’t faze me, though, nor does its diuretic properties. Because, well, asparagus! It’s honkin’ delicious, low in calories, and easy (I almost said “easy-peasy,” but then I thought better of it) to prepare in any number of different ways.
You can stir-fry it. You can steam it. You can grill it. And you can roast it, which is what I generally do, using a technique I learned from local boy Alton Brown.
All you do is trim the bottoms off the stalks - that’s the unpleasantly woody part - after giving them a good rinse. Spread ’em out on a baking sheet and schpritz ’em with a little olive oil, then stick ’em in a 500°F oven to roast. Ten minutes is plenty - midway through, shake up the pan or turn the stalks over using tongs. When they’re done, take ’em out and season with a few pinches of kosher salt. Then (the secret of the recipe!) add a goodly amount of lemon zest and freshly grated nutmeg. (I use a Microplane grater to zest the lemon as well as for grating the nutmeg.) Serve hot out of the oven or at room temperature... it kicks the ass of pretty much any other green vegetable.
Asparagus. Lean, mean, and green. Gotta love it!