French asparagus, lined up and ready for action. I love asparagus, white, green whatever, to me it is the taste of Spring and early summer, a promise of gorgeous foodie goodies to come.
There are lots of ways to cook and serve asparagus, from the simple to the complex. As ever I go for the so easy way with this veggie. here is my boiled asparagus with dips, a yummy lunch or a great started, the choice is yours.
Take a bunch of asparagus, I like to have at least 12 spears if it is a lunch dish, maybe just 6 if you are doing this as a starter at a dinner. I always go for the thinner stalks, not really weedy ones but not those thumb thick stalks, just a personal choice here.
Cut the bottom inch off the asparagus. this is the harder woody bit and not easy to eat. Ideal for the compost bin!
Asparagus cooks really quickly so just do this prepping and have your pot of water ready to boil while you go on to making your dips.
For the Asian dip you will need;
1/2 red chilli pepper
1 lime juiced
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Finely chop the chilli and crush with the brown sugar, this really brings out the flavour. Stir with the lime juice till sugar has disolved and add the other ingredients.
For the French garlic dip you will need;
1 fat clove of garlic
4 tbsp mayonaise
1 tbsp olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp grated parmasan or other hard cheese
Grate or finely chop the garlic and mix with mayonaise, add all the other ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now set aside your dips and get back to the asparagus. boil up a pan of water and add some salt. Once boiling toss in the asparagus and boil for about 3-4 minutes. you want the asparagus to be tender, not all soft and floppy. Thicker stalks take longer to cook.
Drain the asparagus and serve on a big plate with your dips and some gorgeously crusty French bread.