I am not sure why I like to cook asparagus so much . . . because it’s beautiful? . . . because it pairs well with so many things? . . . because of its nutritive value? Regardless, it is one of my favorite vegetables to serve. This recipe for asparagus with gremolata yields a dish that is not only tasty, but makes a beautiful presentation as well. Gremolata is an Italian garnish that is usually made up of parsley, garlic and lemon zest — often served atop Ossobucco alla Milanese. Here the asparagus is steamed, dressed with a lemon vinaigrette and then topped or tossed with the gremolata. The lemon in the vinaigrette and the garnish adds a bright flavor that elevates this classic asparagus dish.
ASPARAGUS WITH GREMOLATA, LEMON AND OLIVE OIL (Serves 6)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
- 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Once you have finely chopped the garlic, parsley and lemon zest, chop them together on a cutting board until well combined. (This mixture is the gremolata.) Transfer to a bowl. Warm a serving platter.
- Steam or boil the asparagus in salted water until tender, four to five minutes. Remove from the heat, and toss with the gremolata. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix together the lemon juice and olive oil, and drizzle over the asparagus. Serve hot or warm
Cooking Tip: Advance preparation: You can prepare the gremolata an hour or two before you cook the asparagus.