Food for Thought
Asparagus season is about to start, especially in warmer parts of the country where you can source local produce at your farmers’ market. Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for a colorful, healthy side dish or a full lunch plate that combines the exotic flavors of asparagus with the sweetness of red grapes and the creamy, earthy crunch of pistachios.
2 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T shallots, minced
About 20–30 red, seedless grapes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 t lemon juice
finishing salt (such as Maldon) and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
¼ C pistachios, shelled, chopped and roasted
Recipe Key: C = cup; T = tablespoon; t = teaspoon
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (such as cast-iron) over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 2 minutes, until shallots are soft and translucent. Add grapes, parsley and lemon juice and stir to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook asparagus in large pot of boiling water until crisp tender—about 2 minutes. Drain well. Divide asparagus among two to four plates. Spoon sauce over, and sprinkle with nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes a great buffet item.