Tuesday, April 28, 2009

People (Person?) for the Ethical Treatment of Vegetables

One of the mistakes I think a lot of us new-ish cooks make is focusing all of our attentions on the entree and then realizing about ten minutes before it's ready that we need some sides, too, at which point we grab the bag of frozen peas out of the freezer and zap them in the microwave, hoping a bit of butter and salt and pepper will atone for the cavalier abuse we so shamelessly heaped on the little green orbs.  Which is also probably why a lot of kids grow up hating vegetables.  

So, with spring and all its abundance upon us (Or at least hopefully heading our way.  Please.  I mean really, can the snow just STOP?), let's all take a moment to reconsider how we (mis)treat our veggies.  Even the frozen guys deserve more than a spin in the radiation-box from time to time.  Let's take the time to plan ahead and saute, roast, grill, steam, sweat, dress and otherwise LOVE the ones who do so much to love us back.  

In the spirit of abandoning thoughtlessly-prepared vegetables, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite preparations for one of my favorite spring vegetables: asparagus.

One of the things I love most about vegetables is that if you treat them right, they will reward you handsomely.  Like when you broil asparagus- the sugars caramelize and the tips get a little crispy and it's a whole new level of asparagus delightfulness.  And for those of us are who are busy or scatter-brained or just plain lazy, broiling asparagus is simple and relatively quick.

Broiled Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
Olive oil

Raise your oven's top rack to the uppermost position and then preheat your oven's broiler. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place baking sheet in the oven until asparagus is charred, but not burnt.  (Keep an eye on it- it took about 6 minutes in my toaster oven back in Las Vegas and about 15 in my mom's oven at 6500 feet.)  Serve immediately.  Thank me later.


Utah Bubble Guy said...

Great title... wonder if those PETA freaks will hunt you down and ask you to join their nutty world!

Netts Nook said...

Broiled Asparagus is the best thanks for sharing your recipe.

Kristy said...

I always just boiled my asparagus until recently. I came across a recipe for grilling it. I just did it in a pan on my stove. I think I used Garlic Salt with it, although can't remember right at this point. But it was YUMMY. I would imagine it's the same concept as the recipe you've posted here, although this looks easier to do (less time and tending!) Thanks!

Wendy said...

Kristy, as Alton Brown says, a broiler is just a grill turned upside down. I've never tried garlic salt on it- probably because I don't have any in my pantry! But maybe I'll try it next time.

Toni and Scott said...

Mmmm that sounds good! Your blog reminded me that I have some asparagus in my fridge that I need to eat soon. Broiled asparagus it is tonight!

LauraJayne said...

I LOVE this post! I became a vegetarian this year for health and environmental reasons (and because I finally figured out how to cook tofu...), but I had to completely re-learn how to view vegetables (i.e. NOT as sides). I love your perspective on food too - and I think one of the most important things I learned from my mother, an avid gardner, was where good food came from! When I finally decided to get healthy, I remembered what she had taught me to make those changes in my eating habits.