The thick, beautiful, green stalks of asparagus are in season now. Asparagus is a nutrient dense vegetable and a natural diuretic. The idea of a fast stir-fry was appealing, because the asparagus retains its color and has a bit of crunch. Quick cooking methods like roasting, blanching or stir-frying help the nutrients remain in the asparagus spears. I used a wok for this stir-fry, but a cast iron or sauté pan work well too. Asparagus has a natural breaking point about 3/4 of the way down the stalk. After washing the asparagus, break one stalk and then cut the rest to match that stalk. Cutting the asparagus on the bias makes a nice presentation when served.
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 small jalapeno or serrano chilli, minced or red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
Snap off the bottom of an asparagus spear and cut the remaining spears to match. Cut the spears at an angle into 1/2 inch pieces.
Heat the oil in a wok or skillet until it’s almost smoking. Add the asparagus and season with the salt and pepper. Stir well, tossing asparagus as it cooks. Stir-fry until the asparagus starts to get cooked through but still remains green, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chili if using, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with fresh mint. Serves 4.
Inspiration: New York Times