I miss weather. When I was a little girl growing up in Wisconsin, I loved the first signs of a new season. It was exciting to wake up to a fresh blanket of snow or get lost in the magic of the leaves changing color. In California, we don’t have seasons marked by dramatic shifts in weather. Southern California is mostly sunny with comfortable temperatures. I love the consistency but do miss Mother Nature’s show of force with every new season.
Locally, the change of season is marked by what is popping up at the local Farmers Market. Lately, I see enormous artichokes, gorgeous radishes, and beautiful spears of asparagus. This seasonal produces announces the arrival of spring and inspires me to get in the kitchen. This week, I’m offering up one of my favorite ways to make asparagus. It’s so addictive I find my self wandering down to the kitchen well after dinner looking for leftovers.
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ⅛ teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
- Blanch asparagus in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 2 minutes.
- Drain asparagus and immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
- Drain and dry asparagus.
- Heat sesame oil in pan over medium heat.
- If using, add crushed red pepper flakes to oil for 1 minute.
- Add asparagus and coat with oil.
- Add soy sauce. Toss.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Add salt to taste*. Heat only until asparagus is warm.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds over asparagus, toss, and serve.
*Don't overcook the asparagus in the pan. You just want to reheat it.