Despite cold temperatures hovering around 30 degrees outside, it is officially spring and asparagus, one of this season's garden glories is being harvested right now. I relish this time of year, mostly because it marks the beginning of a long food harvest full of fresh ingredients I love to prepare and eat.
I typically don't adorn fresh asparagus spears, with a lot of other ingredients, rather I allow the flavor to stand on their own, but the other night I prepared this and served it with lamb chops. Fork tender spears were the perfect compliment for the crispy-fried shallots and the carrot disks added a beautiful contrasting color.
If you're not a fan of lamb, this would be a lovely springtime side dish to accompany fish or chicken.
Helpful to know: Asparagus stalks should be rounded; look for firm stems with deep green or purplish closed tips. The thickness of asparagus spears is a matter of preference and will determine the amount of cooking time; I prefer medium size spears. Use asparagus within 1-2 days of purchasing.
Asparagus with Crispy-Fried Shallots and Brown Butter Breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, (about ¼ cup) thinly sliced
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 bunch asparagus spears, cooked until fork tender
1 cup carrot disks, cooked until tender
In a medium skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Saute shallots until tender, add breadcrumbs and cook stirring constantly, cook until chestnut brown. Evenly distribute shallot/breadcrumb mixture and carrots over asparagus spears. Yield: 4 servings.