Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tarragon Pecan Asparagus

As some of you might know, I'm always reluctant to use my favourite fresh fruits and vegetables in cooking/baking because I love enjoying them just on their own. Asparagus is a favourite, especially the tips, but I had bought a lot one week so decided to try out a new recipe. And oh wow was it addictive. I could've sat and eaten a big bowl of just that for dinner.

Tomorrow is the start of Leng's (A Fat Cat Who Created A Vegetarian) two week salad challenge that I'm taking part in! Every day you have to eat a salad (as your main dish or as a side) that includes (at minimum) leafy greens, a different coloured vegetable/fruit, protein and a grain. I love eating big substantial salads for meals so I'm really looking forward to the challenge. I plan on posting about my salads every few days. Oh and that picture up there is my gorgeous salad bowl (though I think it's supposed to be a pasta bowl). I like tossing everything together and this bowl is big enough to make sure everything stays in the bowl (most of the time anyway).

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Asparagus and Feta Pasta
Sesame Beets
Maple Mustard Glazed Potatoes and String Beans
Herbed Cauliflower with Capers & Lemon

Tarragon Pecan Asparagus
Adapted from The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

1 1/2 lbs asparagus
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tsp honey (Use a different sweetener to make this vegan.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup minced pecans, lightly toasted
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tsp dried tarragon
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Break off and discard the tough bottom ends of the asparagus, then slice the stalks on the diagonal into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.

2. Combine the vinegar and honey in a small bowl and mix until the honey dissolves. Set aside.

3. Place a large deep skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the pecans and saute over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until they are fragrant and lightly toasted.

4. Turn the heat to medium-high, and add the asparagus, garlic and salt. Stir fry for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the asparagus is just barely tender. (Thicker asparagus will take longer.)

5. Add the vinegar mixture to the asparagus, stirring well. Cook over high heat for only about 30 seconds longer, then remove from the heat.

6. Stir in the tarragon, more salt if you like, and some black epper to taste. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.


VeggieGirl said...

What a cute bowl!! And I love the pecan topping for the asparagus.

Snooky doodle said...

Nice dish! the dressing must be delicious. I love balsamic vinegar and honey yum yum

MollyCookie said...

This looks great. I love asparagus also and love new ways to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

Johanna said...

love seeing your salad bowl - and an interesting recipe for asparagus - the salad challenge sounds fun - will look forward to hearing about it - made one of your pastas on the weekend which was great - posted about it yesterday - thanks!

Katrina said...

This looks and sounds delicious! I just bought some asparagus yesterday. Gotta try this!

Helene said...

What a great challenge. I am going on vacation, for couple wks, and when I come back I'll come read about your salads. Beautiful dish you made.

Anonymous said...

that's a great idea to keep a bowl to toss the salads in. I have a big wooden salad bowl that got it's firs use this weekend. For this challenge, I'm going to put it into overdrive.

I'm like you. I am reluctant to cook my fave fruits because I enjoy them fresh. But when it comes to veggies though, I'd have no plm cooking them.

Be back tmw!

Ricki said...

What an unusual and intriguing way to use asparagus! I also usually just eat it on its own, but this would be worth trying. :)

Grace said...

i don't think i know what tarragon tastes like. how sad. regardless, i think the crunch and nuttiness from the pecans is a fabulous addition to asparagus!

Vaala said...

Yum...that looks like a delicious way to serve asparagus. I've only just started to like it so I'm always looking for new ways to cook it.

Chef Fresco said...

We love asparagus & usually only cook basic recipes w. it. I really like the ingredients of this one though!

JayEm said...

Hmmm..yummy asparagus.
I like your recipe just like My favorite recipe at tanya's site , I like it

Vegetation said...

Mmmm now that's my kind of side dish! Yum!!

Pam Walter said...

I love asparagus by itself but this sounds like it would be a delicious change of pace. Will give it a try.