What’s the first vegetable you think of when you hear the word “springtime”? Asparagus, of course. Fresh little shoots that have been waiting all winter to pop their heads above the ground and meet the garden with long slender stalks.
When flavor is this fresh, it deserves to be a showcase on its own, not slathered in a heavy Hollandaise. I prefer to keep it simple and create a contrasting balance between the delicate essence of the asparagus and the tang of an anchovy vinaigrette.
2 lbs. tender, young asparagus
1 tablespoon of
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4-5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped or pureed
1 teaspoon minced fresh lemon thyme
Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Trim ends of asparagus. Place on tray fashioned from tin foil, season with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Grill over open flame. Or transfer to cookie sheet and place under broiler until stalks are slightly crispy at edges but tender throughout, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to serving platter.
Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and pour over asparagus. This dish can be served warm or cold. The vinaigrette is an excellent accompaniment to many grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes or as a marinade for grilled fish.