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How to make asparagus sing? Mustard, soy sauce and honey

 

Melissa D'Arabian/The Associated Press

 

 

Asparagus is by far the favorite vegetable of the d'Arabian family. All four of my school-aged daughters truly love it. I can serve nearly three pounds of asparagus at the table a couple of times of week to my family of six, and the girls will still argue over who gets the last stalk. 

 

I say this not to impress you with the adventurous palettes of my kids; I am not the mom whose 3-year-old loved sushi and kale salad. I say this to encourage you to try different ways of serving asparagus to your family, especially if they aren't huge vegetable-lovers. 

 

Asparagus is truly jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, with a cup of asparagus providing more than 10 percent of your daily requirement of at least 10 vitamins and minerals. The same cup has 3 grams each of protein and fiber, so it's filling, and is under 30 calories. So it's a worthy investment to get your family on board. 

 

You can serve asparagus in hundreds of ways, cooked or raw, or even in between - cooking the outside for sweetness and keeping the inside cool, fresh with and with some snap. 

 

Chop raw asparagus and serve it as a salad, dressed simply in lemon juice, olive oil, maybe a little garlic, black pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Or steam it quickly -- 3-4 minutes is usually enough -- and then toss in a little olive oil and nutritional yeast, or the tiniest pat of butter. Cut the stalks into bite-sized pieces to bulk up a stir fry -- the Asian flavor profile highlights the sweet asparagus flavor. Or our Tuesday night go-to: toss in a little olive oil and salt, and roast at 400 F for 7-8 minutes. 

 

Today's recipe is a simple, but flavorful saute. I use soy sauce instead of salt, which adds umami. A tiny bit of Dijon mustard and a touch of honey create a luscious glaze that make the asparagus sing. 

 

Whatever you decide to do with the asparagus, you can turn leftovers into a soup simply by whirring up with a little broth and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Unless, you are like our family, where asparagus leftovers are merely a hypothetical scenario. 

 

 

 

SAUTEED ASPARAGUS IN SOY SAUCE GLAZE 

 

Servings: 6 

 

Start to finish: 15 minutes 

 

 

 

1 1/2 pounds of fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed 

 

2 teaspoons olive oil 

 

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 

 

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional) 

 

2 teaspoons soy sauce 

 

2 teaspoons lemon juice 

 

1 teaspoon honey 

 

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 

 

 

 

  • Rinse trimmed asparagus stalks, and shake dry, leaving them damp. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant and starting to turn golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.  

     

  • Add the asparagus and cook for two minutes, stirring with the wooden spoon. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce and lemon juice. Carefully pour over the asparagus, and stir once to disperse the sauce. Cover with a lid (or a baking sheet if pan is too large for a lid), and let steam for 2 minutes. 

     

  • Meanwhile, mix honey and mustard in the small bowl. Uncover the asparagus and stir. Drizzle or spoon the honey mustard mixture over the asparagus and cook until a glaze just starts to form (it will thicken as it cools), about two more minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a platter and serve. 

     

    Nutrition information per serving: 46 calories; 13 calories from fat; 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 138 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 3 g protein.

     

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