This simple combination of mushrooms and asparagus was inspired by the popular Spanish tapas (appetizer) dish, champiñones al ajillo. The original recipe uses all mushrooms, embellished with lots of garlic and parsley, but asparagus makes it not only more substantial, but gives it color and heft as well. Both the mushrooms and asparagus are enlivened by red wine and other seasonings.
The original mushroom rendition is traditionally served with slices of warm, fresh bread, so let’s go for that with this embellished version.And since you’ve already opened a bottle of red wine, serve some by the glass with this dish, which can be used as a first course or side dish as well as an appetizer. If you’d like to put together a vegan tapas party, this one’s a must!
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 198 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 120mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 15g Protein: 10g
A few asparagus tips (pardon the pun)
- Slender asparagus is often seen in spring, but too slender, as mentioned in the recipe, isn’t a good thing. You want stalks that are succulent, or you’ll just be getting a lot of skin and little flavor.
- Choose bundles with firm spears; the tips should be closed, plump and green.
- Avoid bundles whose ends look withered — a sure sign that they’re past their peak.
- If you won’t be using the asparagus right away (though you should use it within a day or two of buying), wrap the ends of the stalks with a damp paper towel and put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
- You can also stand asparagus spears upright in a glass filled with 2 to 3 inches of cool water. That’s even better!
When you’re ready to use it
- Wash the asparagus stalks, then cut about an inch off the stem ends.
- If the skin looks tough toward the stem end, peel about half of the stalks toward the stem end with a vegetable peeler. This isn’t a lot of fun to do, but your finished dish will be that much better for it!
Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.
Photos by Susan Voisin, FatFreeVegan.com