ASPARAGUS WITH BROWN BUTTERED BREADCRUMBS
- 1 1 1pound POUNDWeightasparagus, peeled and trimmed, (thin spears need not be peeled)
- 4 4 4tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeunsalted butter
- 1/2 .5 .5cup CUP_USVolumeunseasoned breadcrumbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumeminced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Fill a saucepan or straight-sided frying pan large enough to hold all the asparagus with generously salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, fill a bowl large enough to hold all the asparagus about three fourths full with ice cubes and water.
- Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook the stems until tender but still slightly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, testing by removing a spear with tongs, cutting off a small piece from the stem end, and carefully tasting it.
- With tongs or a large skimmer, remove the asparagus from the boiling water and immediately immerse the stems in the bowl of ice water. Leave them there for several minutes, until completely chilled. Drain the asparagus well and, if you arenít going to complete the recipe right away, refrigerate them in a covered container.
- Before serving, in a sautť pan large enough to hold the asparagus, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sautť, turning it with tongs, until it has heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to heated serving plates.
- Add the remaining butter to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until it begins to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs and continue cooking until the mixture begins to turn a deep golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper and spoon the buttery breadcrumbs over the asparagus. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Wolfgang loves this classic Austrian-style recipe for asparagus, my favorite spring vegetable. Blanching and shocking the asparagus in ice water allows you to get the lionís share of the work done hours before you serve, whenever itís convenient for you.