Remember when we talked about being loyal to the asparagus? Of seeking at once to preserve and enhance its inherent goodness?
This is what I meant. Parboiled to the perfect degree of tenderness, dressed in lemon zest, parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil—it's asparagus as Nature intended.
Asparagus for Loyalists
Adapted from Simply Recipes
This recipe comes from Selland's Market (yes, Selland's of Shrimp Louie fame), which means it's loyal to our hometown as well.
1 bunch of asparagus, woody stems removed
2 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the asparagus into 1- to 2-inch sections, slicing on the bias.
Bring a medium pot of water 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 with the olive oil, parmesan, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.