Now that we’re in full swing of Spring, my good friend Asparagus officinalis has been making some exciting appearances. Slim, dressed in green and always showing off a stunning and full head of hair, asparagus has the world mesmerized by its delicate flavour and crisp (when young) texture.
Asparagus doesn’t need much preparation: roasted, baked, pan-fried, seared or steamed, asparagus releases flavour for every technique.
Asparagus charms the pants off all seafood and meats. Asparagus compliments everything. Shrimp blushes when asparagus walks by, ribeye can’t stop giggling and bacon… well, bacon can’t stop wrapping asparagus in its arms. In this particular recipe, asparagus and bacon recklessly eloped, leaving their families to start a better life anew. Their romance was full of dangerous passion and lust, which in the end destroyed them (in my mouth).
This recipe is so easy, yet it is very fancy. These little bundles of soft, meaty-green goodness are perfect as an hor d’oeuvres or as a side. Or, as always, just by itself.
Step 1: Ingredients and Directions
- 12 ounces (1-2 bunches) thin, green asparagus
- 1 12-ounce pack of bacon
- ½ a lemon’s zest
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC/Gas mark 6.
Rinse asparagus and shake until mostly dry. Cut off the last inch of the bottom of them stems to avoid the stringy bits. Section them into groups – about quarter-sized circumferences.
Tightly wrap each section with a slice of bacon starting at the bottom, or thickest point and going towards the top, or thinnest point.
Lay your meaty, green bundles in a casserole pan side-by-side. Alternate their direction to fit more in the pan and to make sure the tops get enough grease.
Sprinkle zest and salt over the whole pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes then broil on high for 3-4 minutes. Doing this will prevent the need for turning them over.
These make excellent Hor D’oeuvres or sides. I confess to devouring one or two just as is.