The asparagus from the farmers market were fresh young spears, long and thin. I wanted to preserve their bright flavor and delicate texture, so I sautéed them quickly over high heat. I added mustard seeds until they popped, then added lots of fresh ginger at the end to contrast the asparagus’ earthiness. They were at home on top of a fragrant sweet onion pilaf made with jasmine rice. Here are the recipes:
Asparagus with mustard seeds and ginger
1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1. Prep the asparagus. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot and shimmering, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the asparagus and a light sprinkling of salt and white pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus starts to turn bright green, 3-5 minutes.
2. Toss in the ginger and cook 2 minutes. Add the water and rice wine vinegar and cook, stirring once or twice, until the asparagus is tender but still bright green, 2-4 more minutes.
Sweet onion and jasmine rice pilaf
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 Vidalia or other sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup jasmine rice
1 1/4 cup water
1. Heat the oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onions and stir. Season them with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it turns opaque, 2-4 minutes.
2. Add the water and increase the heat to bring the water to a boil. When it boils, stir, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the rice is tender and creamy, 15-20 minutes.