Let’s celebrate spring with asparagus, a vegetable known for it’s strong and distinct flavor. Asparagus, sliced and stir-fried, is a great base for a variety of dishes: first courses, entrees or side dishes. The addition of capers and toasted almonds in this recipe makes this vegetable extra special.
Asparagus, belonging to garlic and onion family, shares the same diuretic properties. It is, therefore, a great ally in the spring to remove the toxins accumulated during the winter season. Asparagus comes in different colors and varieties: white asparagus (delicate flavor), violet (fruity taste) and green (sweet taste). In my recipes I mainly use the violet and the green variety.
Asparagus, native of the Mediterranean area, has a long culinary tradition; it was cultivated early on by the Egyptians and regularly enjoyed by the Roman emperors.
Asparagus is highly versatile and can be used for the preparation of various types of recipes: in pasta , risotto, meat rolls, savory pies, omelets or simply cooked and seasoned with melted butter and grated Parmesan.
ASPARAGI CON MANDORLE E CAPPERI (ASPARAGUS WITH ALMONDS AND CAPERS)
900 g (2 pounds) asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil (Extra Virgin)
80 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable broth
2 tablespoons salted cucunci capers
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
1. First, toast the almond slices in a dry, non-stick skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Set aside
2. Wash the asparagus under cold running water. Trim the ends. Try to bend the stem, you will notice that at certain point it will not break, that’s the point where the stem begins to be tough. Scrape the length of the stem with a knife, taking care not to break the tips. Rinse again under running cold water and cut into pieces of about 1 to 1-1/2 cm (½ inch), while keeping intact the top
3. In a pan sautè the asparagus and the capers in olive oil over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and add the broth
4. Cover the asparagus and cook for about 5- 10 minutes on low heat depending on the size of the asparagus. When done, remove the lid and turn up the heat to let the remaining liquid evaporate. Top with the almonds, add some pepper and stir to mix the flavors. Serve warm. – Paola