Sometimes the best dinner is simply vegetables sauteed to perfection. This dish combines the sweetness of spring asparagus with savory leek and the bright citrus of orange and lemon. Top it off with toasted pine nuts and you have a satisfying meal. I love having this recipe on hand for busy week nights when I just want to toss a few ingredients into a frying pan and have a dinner in a couple minutes. You can serve it with a small salad and a couple pieces of baguette for a full meal.
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I'm continuing with my daily dose of asparagus, always looking for something a little different. This is a delicious recipe that has a bit of a zing from the citrus. It's a nice combination of textures in the mouth. I served it as a side dish, but if you increased the amount a bit and perhaps added a bit of vegetable stock, it would be a tasty pasta sauce. I've modified this recipe a little bit, because I think the leeks take longer to cook than the 3 to 4 minutes to cook the asparagus. It would be a shame to have over-cooked asparagus because the leeks were still crunchy. I used wild leeks, but if you find that ingredient expensive, just use regular leeks. I think some toasted walnuts or hazelnuts would also work in this recipe.
This recipe is from Food52.
Asparagus with Leeks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced into 2 inch pieces on the bias
1 1/4 cup leek, thinly sliced crosswise (white and pale green parts only)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1-2 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to skillet. Add leek and sauté until is has softened, then add asparagus and cook until asparagus is tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add garlic, lemon and orange zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt and serve immediately.