by Kate Heyhoe
Microwave ovens are perfectly suited to quick-cooking vegetables, retaining more nutrients and keeping them green and crisp. Be careful not to overcook.
For 1 pound fresh asparagus,
trim the woody stalks or snap them off.
Rinse the asparagus and leave some water clinging to the spears. Place in a microwave safe baking dish and sprinkle with a touch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high 1 minute. Turn the asparagus in the dish so they cook evenly. Recover and continue to cook until crisply tender, generally another minute or less. Uncover and serve tossed in one of these sauces, warm or at room temperature.
This is my favorite way to serve spring asparagus.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon pale UNTOASTED sesame oil
(NOT toasted sesame oil) or canola oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Mix together all ingredients. Toss crisp-cooked asparagus in the sauce and let sit 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.
1 tablespoon melted sweet butter, such as Plugra
2 teaspoons Maille or coarse ground Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon toasted black onion seed*
Toss crisp-cooked asparagus with the melted butter and mustard. Sprinkle on the toasted onion seed and serve.
*Toasted onion seed: Black onion seed is available in Indian markets where it is also called kalonji. To toast, heat a small dry skillet over medium heat, then add a tablespoon or so of seeds. Shake frequently and cook until the seeds become aromatic (about a minute or so). Taste to make sure they haven't burned and become bitter. They add a lovely crunchy, onion-like flavor to vegetables, breads, and curries.
You can also serve spring asparagus with:
Microwaved Spring Asparagus and Sauces
Kate's Global Kitchen for March, 2000:
This page created March 2000
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