Asparagus is a finicky vegetable. It must be very fresh and picked early in the season or it will have woody stalks. Don’t cut the dry ends of the stalks. Instead, bend the stalks until the dry ends break off. Otherwise you risk serving chewy, inedible asparagus parts that your guests won’t enjoy. This citrusy side dish can be served hot or cold and is good cut up and served in a salad.
2 lbs. asparagus spears, ends snapped off
4 Tbs. orange juice
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. sea salt or salt substitute
4 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1. Blanch the asparagus in a large pot of boiling water for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain and plunge into an ice bath. Pat dry with a paper towel.
2. If serving cold: Wrap the spears in a paper towel to retain moisture and chill in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Then whisk the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl and toss with the chilled spears.
3. If serving warm: Whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, and salt and toss with the asparagus. Saute the garlic and ginger in the oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the spears and saute for 2-3 more minutes or until the asparagus is heated through. Season with salt and serve.
Chef’s Note: You can start this recipe a day or so ahead of time. After blanching the asparagus, wrap them in a paper towel to retain moisture and refrigerate until you are ready to complete the recipe.