Asparagus is by far the favorite vegetable of the d'Arabian family. All four of my school-aged daughters truly love it. I can serve nearly three pounds of asparagus at the table a couple of times of week to my family of six, and the girls will still argue over who gets the last stalk.
I say this not to impress you with the adventurous palates of my kids; I am not the mom whose 3-year-old loved sushi and kale salad. I say this to encourage you to try different ways of serving asparagus to your family, especially if they aren't huge vegetable lovers.
Asparagus is truly jam packed with vitamins and minerals, with a cup of asparagus providing more than 10 percent of your daily requirement of at least 10 vitamins and minerals. The same cup has 3 grams each of protein and fiber, so it's filling, and is under 30 calories. So it's a worthy investment to get your family on board.
You can serve asparagus in hundreds of ways, cooked or raw, or even in between - cooking the outside for sweetness and keeping the inside cool, fresh and with some snap.
Chop raw asparagus and serve it as a salad, dressed simply in lemon juice, olive oil, maybe a little garlic, black pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Or steam it quickly - 3-4 minutes is usually enough - and then toss in a little olive oil and nutritional yeast, or the tiniest pat of butter. Cut the stalks into bite-sized pieces to bulk up a stir fry - the Asian flavor profile highlights the sweet asparagus flavor. Or our Tuesday night go-to: Toss in a little olive oil and salt, and roast at 400 F for 7-8 minutes.
Today's recipe is a simple but flavorful saute. I use soy sauce instead of salt, which adds umami. A tiny bit of Dijon mustard and a touch of honey create a luscious glaze that make the asparagus sing.
Whatever you decide to do with the asparagus, you can turn leftovers into a soup simply by whirring up with a little broth and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Unless you are like our family, where asparagus leftovers are merely a hypothetical scenario.
SAUTEED ASPARAGUS IN SOY SAUCE GLAZE
Start to finish: 15 minutes
1 1/2 pounds of fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Rinse trimmed asparagus stalks, and shake dry, leaving them damp. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant and starting to turn golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for two minutes, stirring with the wooden spoon. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce and lemon juice. Carefully pour over the asparagus, and stir once to disperse the sauce. Cover with a lid (or a baking sheet if pan is too large for a lid), and let steam for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix honey and mustard in the small bowl. Uncover the asparagus and stir. Drizzle or spoon the honey mustard mixture over the asparagus and cook until a glaze just starts to form (it will thicken as it cools), about two more minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a platter and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 46 calories; 13 calories from fat; 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 138 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 3 g protein..
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