So yes it is officially spring, but no--like much of the country--it does not feel like it. Nonetheless, I'm cooking as if it is. This is a really simple and really delicious recipe for stove-top braised asparagus. It's really just a variation of any of my aglio e olio recipes...but with a couple more steps. But it is still exceedingly simple and really delicious (did I mention that this was delicious?). Being Good Friday, I ate the asparagus with fish meatballs (here's the recipe). The asparagus was done before the meatballs and pasta were cooked and I ate most of it before I sat down for dinner. Anyhow, here's how to make it.
Stove-Top Braised Asparagus with Olive Oil, Lemon, Garlic, and Hot pepper
¼ cup virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of their fibrous ends
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 lemon, juiced
Heat the oil in a large skillet then add the asparagus. Sprinkle the garlic, hot pepper, and salt on and around the asparagus. Gently shake the pan, and using tongs, turn the asparagus in the pan. Add a few tablespoons water to the pan, then lower the heat and place a lid on it for a couple minutes. Remove the lid and add the lemon juice to the pan, gently turning the asparagus. Transfer the asparagus to a clean plate and pour the oil and lemon over it, along with the garlic and hot pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.