Selland’s market-cafe in Sacramento is an uncommonly good café and often a source of inspiration for foods to prepare. Recently I had some of their asparagus and loved the texture – slightly crunchy (definitely not mushy!) – and the hint of lemon flavor along with the olive oil and Parmesan. Upon inquiry I was told that the asparagus had indeed been parboiled for 2 minutes and then tossed with Parmesan, olive oil, and some lemon zest. So easy!
- 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
- 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest - freshly grated lemon rind
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.
2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.
Note that when you are working with so few ingredients, it's important to make sure they are of the highest quality.