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blistered peanut-coconut asparagus

June 24, 2019

“Blistering” asparagus is just cooking it over a wildly high heat. Why is this important? Ever tried to bake asparagus low and slow? Asparagus cooked on a low heat gets sickly pale, mushy, and sad. Don’t take my word for it – everyone from Tyler Florence to Bon Appetit to the Barefoot Contessa to Food & Wine Magazine suggests bumping up the temp to at least 400.

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
12 oz. asparagus, trimmed

1 Fresno chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger
2 Tbsp. crushed salted, dry-roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp. toasted unsweetened shredded coconut
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Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
Cook asparagus, tossing often, until stalks are bright green, blistered in spots, and tender, about 5 minutes.
Season with salt and transfer to a platter.

Stir chile, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, and ginger in a small bowl to combine.
Mix in peanuts and coconut and spoon over asparagus.

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recipe by Claire Saffitz
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I usually roast asparagus on 425 or 450. This recipe called for pan-roasting on the stove, but I bought a whole sheet pans’ worth at the farmers market and didn’t want to bother cooking it in batches over the stove. So I tried to replicate the high heat of a skillet by bumping up the temperature to 500. The middle stayed crunchy, while the outside went all crispy and blistered. It did actually form small blisters on the skin of the asparagus! Definitely my new favorite temperature for roasting asparagus.

As far as the peanut-coconut topping, it was definitely good, but I’ll never make it with springtime asparagus again. Why? Spring asparagus tastes PERFECT by itself. A little olive oil and I’m satisfied. Why conceal the flavor of the vegetable with ginger and other strong flavors? Spring asparagus is sweet enough without honey. Adding this recipe to the “condiments” tag so that I remember to make this peanut-coconut mixture to top something like orange zest rice pilaf, or miso-glazed fish.

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One comment

  1. Great post 🙂



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