We’re now in the period that we call “Mellandagarna” in Swedish – literally “The Between Days” – that curious hinterland between Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everybody” and Abba’s “Happy New Year”.
It’s a festive trough between two gigantic peaks, and when it comes to food, quick and easy are doubly important, as people stagger around, dazed and confused, some semblance of normality returning to life, before we all jump back on the merry-go-round, and it all kicks off again.
Asparagus does quick and easy very well indeed. In fact, it really doesn’t like to be treated any other way, and will sulk terribly if you even consider it.
Like the large gentleman in the red gear with the flying sleigh, asparagus is just one of those ingredients that knows what you’re thinking, so you better think twice before planning anything even remotely naughty.
It’s right at home in whatever style of cooking you want to use it in, and it’s sinfully good for you.
All this, and it can even make your Number Ones smell of sulphur. What’s not to like…?!
Pan Fried Asparagus
- a bunch of asparagus
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, halved
- olive oil
- Trim the asparagus by the “snap” method. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
- Bring a couple of tablespoons of olive oil up to medium heat in a large, non-stick frying pan. Add the garlic cloves, and let them gently fry for a minute or so.
- Add the asparagus to the pan. Fry until just tender, turning often. The exact cooking time is going to vary with amongst other things the age / firmness of your asparagus, but you should find you’re thereabouts when the asparagus starts to take on a nice, golden colour, which is usually any time around the 10 minute mark. Once you get to that point, test the asparagus for doneness with a toothpick.
- When the asparagus is very nearly done, season with salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze over the juice of half the lemon. Fry for a minute or so more.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and squeeze over the juice of the other lemon half. Serve.