Asparagus with Garlic Oil and Toasted Pine Nuts

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Most often when I prepare asparagus as a side dish, I roast it in the oven, which gives it a wonderful nutty flavor, and is literally one of the most simple recipes that I make. (hint: 450, for 15 minutes, tossed with salt, pepper and olive oil…that’s it!) But repetition can become boring, and it’s always nice to change things up every once in awhile… So, as I was preparing my Salmon with Lemon-Herb Mayo the other night, I had a thought that I would make a change to my usual preparation, and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

I decided to steam the asparagus, rather than roasting it, which was a light and healthy change for me. To give the asparagus a kick of flavor I thinly sliced up a large clove of garlic and sauteed it in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until lightly browned. Meanwhile, to add a little crunch and give it a nice nutty flavor, I toasted some pine nuts in a dry pan until brown and fragrant. Topped with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper it was a perfect and light side dish. The flavors played off each other quite well, and acted as an excellent companion for my salmon. It’s certainly a recipe that I plan to use again when I feel stuck in a rut with my vegetables :)

Steamed Asparagus with Garlic Oil and Toasted Pine Nuts
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp pinenuts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Trim the asparagus by either breaking off or cutting the tough bottom ends.
  2. Steam or lightly boil the asparagus until crisp green and just barely cooked, approximately 2 minutes. Check with a fork for doneness during cooking. Set aside on a small platter once finished
  3. Heat a dry saucepan over medium heat and add pine nuts, stirring often until brown and toasty, (Alternately you can roast the nuts in a 375 oven for 5-10 mins, for a more even color.) and add to the asparagus
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and saute until lightly browned on both sides. Pour garlic and oil over the steamed asparagus and pine nuts.
  5. Finish with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

 

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