Not only do we have the 2011 gift of the Mark Bittman’s latest Asparagus Matrix, ow titled, “Asparagus Chart,” but he has also made available, his list of 13 years’ of asparagus recipes in the New York Times.
Asparagus is a wonderful sign of spring, even if we can get it most all year now. We used to have only “fat” asparagus offered to us which meant quite tough lower ends. Gradually they bred narrower and narrower asparagus, and we sought only the slimmest for “tenderness’” sake. Once we resigned ourselves to cutting off much of the base on either type, we then went our own separate ways. I gave up the slenderest for the medium stalks, because, for one thing, roasted, pencil-thin asparagus seems to collapse and lack flavor. I now go for the medium and peel it only when I feel very noble.
ABOVE ALL: If you blanch asparagus, DON’T leave the room! There tends to be no degrees of delicious for over-done asparagus.
Bittman spans for us the years 1998 when he featured his first Minimalist asparagus recipe, “Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Dressing,” to 2010, when he proposes “Asparagus Pesto.” In between he restates his tantalizing recipes for “Stir-Fried Asparagus with Pork” and his “Asparagus Vichyssoise.” They are all here: Thirteen (Plus) Years of Asparagus.
Catch The Minimalist at 10:30 Sunday mornings on the
For many more recipes, visit MARKBITTMAN.COM.
Also BITTMAN’S DINER’S JOURNAL
(New York Times) online