Friday, March 21, 2008

Recipe: Asparagus in Warm Tarragon-Pecan Vinaigrette

One of the few cookbooks that survived my rampage was Vegetable Heaven by Mollie Katzen. I used it more than the others, and was unable to part with it.

The author, Mollie Katzen, had a public television show that was the companion to the cookbook. Joe and I had just moved to Nashua, NH together and I had my tiny little galley kitchen (my kitchen now isn't much bigger). She inspired me that day when she made this recipe on the show and I just had to have the book.

Over the years, I made the recipe so many times that I became confident to make it without a recipe, making slight changes to suit my taste.

Thoughts on this recipe:
  • I always look for thin asparagus. I think that it's more tender, and less fibrous. When you cut the asparagus, leave the tips in tact!

  • A time saver is to buy the already chopped and toasted pecans available at Trader Joe's. Gosh, I love those things. BTW, they do it with almonds too.

  • If I had it on hand, I'm sure that 2 Tbs. fresh tarragon would be better than the dried stuff I use.

Asparagus in Warm Tarragon-Pecan Vinaigrette
adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven

One bunch of fresh asparagus, cut on a diagonal into 1" pieces
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
2 tsp. dried tarragon

Mix the vinegar, sugar, and tarragon together and set aside.

Sautee the asparagus on a high heat till just tender (3-5 minutes). Add the vinegar mixture. Let it sautee for one more minute. Toss in the pecans and it's ready to serve.

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