Having a wide range of tasty side dishes that can be made at the drop of a hat allows you to have a tasty dinner without a lot of thought. Think of dishes that don’t take too much time but deliver big on flavor. Quite often vegetable dishes are relegated to quietly sit alongside the main dish – seen but not heard. This is not one of those recipes.
Best Asparagus Side Dish
Asparagus is one of the vegetables that screams spring to us! Earthy and sweet, simple steamed or roasted asparagus is nothing to sneeze at. This easy asparagus recipe keeps the preparation simple, but turns the flavor up! We’ve taken the classic French preparation of dressing asparagus with Dijon mustard and give it a California twist.
Adding a bit of Aleppo pepper gives this asparagus a lot of extra flavor. We love this as a hot side dish for steak or as a cold side dish for fish. Hot or cold, it is delish!
Asparagus. Asparagus is in season in the springtime. When shopping for asparagus look for:
- Stalks that are firm with tightly closed tips
- It should be stored chilled or standing in water
- A bright color –whether green, white, or purple
The size of asparagus depends on the age of the plant. The smaller the stalks the older the plant. The smaller spears are delicate and tender, while thicker spears have a robust flavor and a meaty texture. Any size works in this recipe, just make sure all your stalks are a similar size.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As with all simple dishes, the ingredients need to be of the best quality. In this dish, use olive oil that has a flavor you love. If you’re in Ventura and able to stop by SpiceTopia, we suggest our Robusto Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or our Lemon Co-Pressed Olive Oil.
Balsamic Vinegar. Using balsamic vinegar in this recipe instead of traditional wine vinegar gives a lighter taste with just a touch of sweetness. If you’re in Ventura and able to stop by SpiceTopia, we suggest our Traditional White Balsamic Vinegar for its light color and flavor.
Garlic. A clove of fresh garlic mellowed out by sauteing for just a few seconds is the perfect accompaniment to the earthy flavor of asparagus. If your fresh garlic isn’t looking too fresh or you just prefer an easy pantry option, our Minced Garlic to the rescue! It’s never sprouting or dried out! 1 teaspoon of minced garlic is equal to 1 clove of fresh garlic.
Mustard. Traditionally this recipe uses dijon mustard. We love using sweet hot mustard as well. Or even homemade mustard! (Learn all about how to make your very own mustard right here.
Aleppo Pepper. Aleppo Pepper adds beautiful color to this dish along with slight notes of fruitiness, sourness, and just a touch of heat.
Preparing the asparagus is easy. Lightly hold each spear in your hands. Bend until the stalk breaks. Keep the top of the stalk. Discard the bottom of the stalk.
After breaking the asparagus, it is blanched before sauteing and dressing. This extra step of blanching keeps the asparagus a bright green color.
Let’s get cooking!
Mustard Dressed Spring Asparagus Recipe
Bring 2 cups of water in a deep frying pan to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Pacific Flake Salt.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove asparagus from the water and drop into a bowl of cold water. Allow to cool in the water for 2 minutes. This is called blanching and helps to keep your vegtables a bright green color. Drain.
Empty and wipe the frying pan. Heat over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the olive oil and heat until a drop of water sizzles in the oil.
Add the asparagus and saute for 3-4 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked to your liking. Add the garlic and cook for the last 30 seconds of cooking.
Remove the asparagus and arrange on a serving platter.
In a small bowl or jar, whisk together vinegar and dijon mustard. Pour over the asparagus. Sprinkle with Aleppo Pepper.