A simple yet bold presentation, this Greek asparagus is richly flavored with olive and sun-dried tomato tapenade.
Making the case for fat asparagus spears: For years, pencil-thin, spindly stalks of asparagus were the only respectable option for any serious chef, buying into the notion that anything more voluptuous would be tough or “woody.”
Not only is that a fallacy, but a woeful waste of the best produce that spring has to offer. This easy and luscious dish of asparagus with Greek olive tapenade topping makes the case for fat spears.
Thick, juicy spears bear a much fuller flavor in each bite, providing ample surface area to cover in more robust seasonings that would otherwise smoother those twiggy specimens.
Briny Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and fresh dill celebrate this seasonal treat. That’s what gives this dish its touch of Greek flair, dressing the once maligned stalks in a shapely and bold new style.
That all said, age determines texture more than width, so freshness will always be more important than shape or size. At the end of the day, all asparagus is beautiful. Cook thinner asparagus for only 3 to 5 minutes, if that’s all you can find.
Recipe and photo at top from Real Food Really Fast by Hannah Kaminsky © 2018, Skyhorse Publishing. Reprinted by permission.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 16 ounces asparagus, woody bottoms trimmed
- 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 Tbsps chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the surface begins to shimmer, introduce the asparagus. Sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, until bright green and fork-tender yet still crisp, stirring often.
- Meanwhile, toss all the remaining ingredients into your food processor and pulse to combine. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, chopping the mixture into a coarse tapenade, with plenty of chunky bits remaining.
- Transfer the cooked asparagus to a serving platter and top with the olive mixture. Enjoy hot, or prepare in advance and chill for a more refreshing spring side. Once cooled, it also travels well, making it an excellent picnic guest!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used.
Real Food Really Fast by Hannah Kaminsky
is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold
About Hannah Kaminsky: Hannah has developed an international following for her delicious recipes and mouthwatering food photography at the award-winning blog BitterSweet. She is the author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan à la Mode, Easy as Vegan Pie, and Real Food, Really Fast.
Passionate about big flavors and simple techniques, she works in the San Francisco bay area, developing recipes and photographing food from morning to night. Visit Hannah on the web at BittersweetBlog.com.
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