Thursday, April 5, 2012

Asparagus with Bacon and Garlic

April marks the beginning of Spargelzeit, 'asparagus season', in Germany.  While I tend to like more the American's green asparagus, the German prefer the white variety, and most asparagus from Germany is white.

When buying asparagus, freshness is the key to the perfect flavour and texture.  Make sure the stems are firm, crisp and plump, and have the characteristic velvety sheen.  The tip should be intact and firm, a slight purple colour tinge is normal.

The Spargelzeit ends abruptly on June 24.  This is a simple side dish that goes along well with other meat.

A bunch of asparagus, 16 asparagus
4 slices bacon
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Serves 2 - 4

1.  Wash and trim the asparagus.  In a pot of boiling water, (with a little bit of salt and oil added), blanch the asparagus for about 3-4 minutes, depending the size of the asparagus.  Drain and place them in cold water with ice.  This will keep them crunchy.

2.  While boiling the asparagus, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, stir fry the garlic until light brown.  Set aside.

3.  Using a slice of bacon, wrap four asparagus.  Heat a frying pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Place the wrapped asparagus in and cook for about 2 minutes until the bacon turn brown.

4.  Dish out the wrapped asparagus on the serving plate,  sprinkle a little salt, some pepper and pour the garlic and oil on top.

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