The long and short of asparagus

asparagusBecause some days, you’re short on time. And sometimes, it’s fun to eat short asparagus. We went on a great hike up to Bishop Pass yesterday. When we got home, we had that combination of hearty appetite and pleasant exhaustion that usually makes me think: ‘ideal night for take-out’. But we live in the middle of nowhere, and vegan dining options are minimal. Especially after 8pm when most restaurants around here close their kitchens. Time to scrounge around the fridge to see what we could throw together.

We found a couple of veggie burgers on the border of freezer burn. OK, that’s a start. Salad greens and a lemon vinaigrette I’d made for something last week. Leftover mashed potatoes. And some asparagus I’d bought a while ago, patiently sitting in its vase of water waiting for its time to shine. That time was now. This recipe took our star from fridge to table in about 10 minutes.

8 oz. of asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal into 2-inch long pieces

2½ teaspoons oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons minced garlic

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add asparagus and salt and stir so asparagus is coated with oil. Cook 3 or 4 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges. Stir in minced garlic and cook for one minute, or until garlic begins to brown. If you’d like to add even more yumminess, sprinkle with thyme and/or squeeze a few drops of lemon juice. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy. Serves 2.

According to chef Susie Middleton (from whose Fast, Fresh & Green cookbook I got this recipe), cutting asparagus into short pieces allows it to cook more evenly and allows the cut surfaces to brown, which imparts a nutty and earthy flavor. Plus, it’s just pretty.

Quote of the Day

 Since you just saved so much time in the kitchen, you probably have time to watch this adorable and inspiring 1-minute video on why people love being vegan. Shiny, happy people holding signs. Love life. Live vegan.