It's difficult to imagine a better way to revive palates starved of local produce for months than the first appearance of asparagus in the markets, and as long as this noble and elegant vegetable is available locally, I'm never without a bunch or two on hand.
Sweet, tender and delicious all on its own with just a little sprinkle of sea salt, one of the many charms of asparagus is its demand to be treated in the simplest fashion with a minimum of fuss, bother or cooking, and paired only with a small handful of other classic flavours like eggs, cheese, butter, lemon, fresh herbs or black pepper.
Inspired by SusanV, this simple dish is ready from refrigerator to plate in just 15 minutes, with tamari, wasabi and sesame serving as a basic Asian-style flavour companion for the asparagus as well as performing a delightful spicy contrast with the natural sweetness of the vegetable. The tamari and wasabi collect to an especially strong effect at the tips of the asparagus, which you'll want to save for last when you're eating them.
If you don't have some already, I urge you to buy a traditionally brewed tamari sauce made from slow-fermented soy beans instead of anything marketed as just soy sauce, which are usually made with 40-60% wheat as well as quick hydrolyzed soy protein and caramel colouring. Good tamari sauces are wheat-free, contain more digestible proteins, and taste so much better than ordinary soy sauces that you'll never go back. Fortunately, they're also widely available these days from reputable suppliers like San-J or Eden Foods.
This is my contribution to Tried and Tasted, a monthly event started by the lovely Zlamushka. Each month a different blog is featured and bloggers are encouraged to cook from the archives to show their appreciation for the featured blog. This month Susan's FatFree Vegan Kitchen is the focus of attention and Holy Cow is putting together the May edition.
Wasabi Roasted AsparagusIf you liked this recipe you may also enjoy these asparagus suggestions:
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1/2 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon tamari sauce
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3/4 - 1 teaspoon wasabi powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Preheat an oven to 425°. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and arrange the spears on a baking sheet.
Mix the water, tamari sauce and toasted sesame oil in a small bowl. Stir in the wasabi, a 1/4 teaspoon at a time to create the desired spiciness. Brush the sauce over the asparagus, making sure to coat all the sides.
Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes, turning the spears over once and sprinkling over the sesame seeds after 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
Asparagus and Oriental Tamari Dressing with Pine Nuts
Wild Rice and Asparagus Salad
Fried Halloumi Saganaki and Asparagus
Asparagus and Feta Cheese Frittata