Asparagus are in season in some parts of the US. Here in New York, they are the cheapest (about $2.99 a pound) they'll be all year. According to a few of your comments about side dishes to go with Easter ham, asparagus are high up on the list.
We agree. And while we usually roast our asparagus with a little olive oil and salt, we're thinking about the fresh, bright green color we get when we blanch and chill them. Another benefit of serving asparagus cold? You can make them ahead of time.
On a side note: Did you know asparagus are part of the lily family? How Easter-appropriate!
Click below for serving suggestions.
First, we trim the stalks, then boil the asparagus in a large sauté pan for a few minutes, until they are bright green and just tender. If you are using super skinny asparagus, see our tip for blanching them in a baking dish.
Then, technically, we should stop the cooking in an ice bath. But we find running them under very cold water works just fine. Pat them dry, wrap in a paper towel, stick in a plastic bag, and store in the fridge.
As for serving them, we like to sprinkle our asparagus with Kosher salt and drizzle on a good balsamic vinaigrette (a simple, syrupy balsamic vinegar is good, too) or homemade hollandaise sauce.
We also just found this streamlined recipe for Hollandaise sauce in a copy of Saveur. (See photo above.) We think we may try this sometime over the weekend, and the addition of Tabasco makes it sound intriguing!
• Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
Happy Easter eating...
(Photo: Andre Baranowski for Saveur)