Spring is approaching which means that asparagus is popping up both in gardens and in the markets. I'm perfectly fine with roasted, grilled, or sauteed asparagus with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, but Asparagus with Red Peppers & Goat Cheese takes it to another level! Scroll to the bottom to read about the secret ingredient.
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How to choose fresh asparagus
Always look for the flower end to be tight and sturdy and the stems to be firm. If they are limp, you should pass on them! When you get them home from the market, you should trim the ends and put them in a jar with water ... just as you would a bouquet of flowers. I cover the heads with a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator until I'm ready to cook them.
To trim asparagus stems, you can bend them near the end of the stem and they will snap at the place where they turn tough. You can also cut the ends with a knife and peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler to remove any tough exterior.
If you want to listen to a Frenchman explain how to trim "asparagoose", check out one of my favorites, Jacques Pepin.
Start with roasting the red pepper. You can do this on a grill, under the broiler, or right on the flame of a gas stove. Let it cool, then cut it into strips.
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add oil, then sauteed the asparagus till they are tender, but retain their bright green color. Season with granulated garlic, salt, and pepper.
Add strips of roasted red pepper and heat through.
The secret ingredient for Asparagus with Red Peppers and Goat Cheese is ...
MINT! Yes, it lends such a subtle hint of freshness that is absolutely delicious!
How to serve Asparagus with Red Peppers & Goat Cheese
Put the asparagus and red pepper strips on a platter. Put bits of goat cheese on the top, letting it soften from the heat of the vegetables. Sprinkle with freshly chopped mint. Serve as a side dish to grilled or roasted meats.
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Asparagus with Red Peppers & Goat Cheese
- oil for sauteeing
- 1 pound asparagus stems trimmed
- granulated garlic, salt, and pepper to taste
- ½ cup roasted red peppers cut into strips (See notes)
- 2 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint chopped
- Trim the asparagus and set aside. Roast the red pepper and let cool, then cut into strips.
- Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, then add a bit of oil, about 1-2 Tablespoons. Saute the asparagus until they are just tender, but still bright green. Season with the granulated garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Add the strips of roasted red pepper and cook till it warms through.
- Remove the asparagus and red pepper to a platter, top with goat cheese crumbles, and sprinkle with the chopped mint leaves.