Excuse me? Would you like to try that again?
Whilst working at the three Michelin-starred Hotel Le Meurice in Paris, France, I learned how to peel asparagus. Now granted, working at literally one of the highest-rated restaurants in the world meant having a ruler in my side-pocket at all times (every asparagus had to be the exact same size, as well as the amount to be peeled had to be within a millimeter of continuity).
There is more behind the method of madness that just the aesthetic appeal... not only does the undercover of asparagus possess a brilliant green vibrancy, but removing the outer peel eliminates the bitter-taste of asparagus. One of the most basic, yet flavorful preparations of this natural woody vegetable:
Using a knife, chop the bottom inches away and discard (the very bottom of the stalks of asparagus are not only fibrous and unpalatable, but very bitter as well... unpleasant to the taste... depending on the size of the asparagus, it is usually the bottom 1-2 inches... sometimes 3). Using a peeler, gently peel away the first layer of the asparagus... do not peel the asparagus tip, but begin under the tip and continue down the stalk. Once peeled, place the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. After blanching for two minutes, immediately transfer into ice water. Reason? The initial blanching will soften the asparagus, as well as allow the green to increase in intensity. The immediate transfer to ice water will halt the cooking process, as well as keep the vibrant color intact. After a minute of resting in the ice-cold shock, remove from the water and place on a paper towel in order to dry the softened stalks (otherwise they will become diluted and water-logged). Before serving, allow to sauté in ghee (clarified butter) or a flavored oil (avocado, almond, hazelnut, basil, etc.) At this point, the flavoring is up to you to create: I have always been a proponent of sprinkling with smoked sea salt, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and herbs de Provence (the lavender in the herbs de Provence and acid in the lemon juice aid in balancing the 'earthy-ness' of asparagus). Allow to sauté for about 5 minutes... in order to continue to soften, as well as absorb the healthy fats.
I recently served asparagus with caramelized onions/mushrooms, dover sole, crispy kale chip and a reduced balsamic vinaigrette.
Sheer brilliance in balance of flavors. And healthy too.
"Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise." - Mike Adams
I love y'all dearly