As a child, I hated asparagus. It didn't help that my mom doesn't like it much so she never made it. If it was an option for a side dish, I would deny it, or for the least part attempt to order something else. But for the sake of being an adult and proving to be a positive role model, I made asparagus for this challenge and tried it with a different flair.
Asparagus is low in calories, very low in sodium, and very good source of fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Asparagus can be prepared broiled, grilled, in a stir-fry, or most recently gaining popularity eaten raw.
I looked for recipes and everything that I found was smothered in cheese (obviously something I would be more than happy to indulge in) or dressed in a vinegar. I decided that since nothing was tickling my fancy, I was going make up my own recipe. Similar to how I came up with my endive recipe.
I picked up some things that I use as staples to every meal, such as onions and garlic and some things that I was in the mood for, like pine nuts and mushrooms.
Asparagus, Garlic, Red Onion, and Mushrooms
My recipe included:
A bunch of asparagus with the white stems cut off
1 large red onion
4 (very) large mushrooms
6 cloves of garlic, halved
Approximately 1/4 cup of pine nuts- also known as pignoli
I had already started to collect scraps from all the veggie dishes I have been making for the week, including the scraps from when I made The Get Fit Baby's baby food. I placed them in the back of my fridge where it is the coldest and so far, my collection is looking pretty nice.
Last week, I learned how to properly sauté vegetables and have pretty much went to town sautéing everything in the fridge.
1. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil to warmed pan and add the pine nuts. These are the hardest of the items and will not get soft when sautéed, but they do turn a nice warm shade of brown. Turn them every few minutes to coat them in the oil nicely.
2. While the pine nuts are browning cut the white bottoms off the stems of the asparagus stalks and place them in your veggie stock pile. Then rinse the asparagus in cool water, and place these aside while you slice the garlic, onions and mushrooms.
3. When you notice that your pine nuts are beginning to get a bit toasted add the asparagus to the bunch. The asparagus can take a while but it is important to coat it thoroughly in the oil so that it doesn't dry out. After about 8 minutes I added the cover to my pan and let the asparagus soften a little more. 4. Once the asparagus begins to soften to a point where you can leave an impression with your spatula (yes, I don't do time very much. I prefer to use actions to represent my time) you can then add the garlic halves to the mixture. The garlic is best when it is tossed frequently so that you can coat the all the asparagus thoroughly.
5. Once the garlic begins to soften and golden add the red onions to your pan. Followed by the mushrooms and cover. The mushrooms will release a bit of water, since they hold water the most out of all your vegetables in this blend, so don't be alarmed if you see less oil and more water at this point. Be aware that the mushrooms do cook up very quickly, so get your plates out!
Since The Get Fit Dad does not like asparagus, I called over "Don't Eat Meat Dom". He is newly a vegetarian but a long time friend. He was more than pleased to come over and try asparagus other than the way he normally makes it. As soon as he walked in he looked at the stove and told me how fragrant the house was. That is a HUGE compliment to me! I love walking into my mother's house and smelling whatever it is she is cooking.
Neither of us had eaten and we both saved out appetites for this dish. I placed a nice size pile on his plate and we began to enjoy. The asparagus was very soft, but not mushy. I prefer my asparagus that way, however, "Don't Eat Meat Dom" likes his a little bit more firm. The mushrooms, onions, garlic and pine nuts blended amazingly well together and the dish could almost be compared to something of an Asian-Fusion style meal.
I bought enough asparagus to steam and make into baby food for The Get Fit Baby, so that will be my next trial with asparagus. I do think that this is something I would make again.
I did just by more endive to cook up differently and I am going to make some into baby food for The Get Fit Baby as well. It's never too early to get them started eating right!