Amber’s Asparagus, Arugula and Parmesan Salad

250 grams of asparagus
Half a red onion, sliced thin
Two handfuls of arugula
Shaved Parmesan (use your vegetable peeler!), About 10 slices
2 strips of cooked (crunchy) bacon or pancetta
Olive Oil for sautéing

For the vinaigrette:
6 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2-3 tablespoons of champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
1.5 tsp of honey
1 small shallot, chopped very fine
Salt and Pepper Q.B.

Wash and remove the woody stems from the asparagus. Cut tips of asparagus off and using a vegetable peeler, “slice” the asparagus into long strips. Heat oil in a pan large enough to hold onions and asparagus. Add onions first and let them cook for a few minutes over a medium low heat. Add asparagus strips and tips and continue cooking until desired tenderness. Don’t forget to season with S and P.
Let cool until warm but not cold.
While cooling, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a shaker or glass jar with a lid and shake vigorously until completely emulsified.
To make salad, toss arugula, asparagus, red onions and a desired amount of dressing. (Hey, some people like it lightly dressed while others heavily dressed!) Add cheese and toss again gently. Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.

Serve alone or accompany with a nice big steak!

Temple’s Asparagus with Parmigiano


Fresh asparagus
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt (preferable gris) and fresh ground pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano in shavings

Snap the tough bottoms off the asparagus and wash and pat dry: In a pan just large enough to hold them all in one layer, coat the bottom with oil. Place the asparagus in all in the same direction and roll them around to get them coated all over with oil. Salt and pepper. Roast in a 200°C oven for about 15 minutes until tender when pierced with a fork. Meanwhile shave the parmigiano, preferably with a truffle shaver or other that will produce very fine but large shavings. Remove the asparagus from oven and sprinkle with the shavings. Wait about one minute until the shavings start to melt and serve.

Asparagus with tomatoes and onion by Tina Ferrari

Asparagus with tomatoes and onion by Tina Ferrari

I just made this as a small lunch today, though it would also make a good side dish.


1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small bunch of asparagus
1 onion, chopped
5 or 6 plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
salt, to taste

Heat oil in a skillet or wok over a medium-high flame. Brown the onion, then sauté the asparagus for a few minutes. If you think you need more moisture, a splash of water or even white wine will do the trick. Add the tomatoes, cover the skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Add salt according to your preferences. Serve drizzled with olive oil and enjoy with some good crusty bread and maybe a glass of white wine.

Letizia’s Risotto con Asparagi e Pancetta

From Letizia’s Blog at Madonna del Piatto 

Ask 2 Italians what’s the correct way to prepare pasta. You will get the same story from both: al dente, toss with sauce, serve piping hot. Ask two Italians how to make a risotto. You will get 2 stories. Ask 4 of them, you will get 4 stories.  Stir, don’t stir. Use only butter, oil’s forbidden. No! olive oil’s  OK. Condiments at the beginning, no, at the end. Rest, don’t rest. Finish with cream? No cold butter! Vialone? Arborio? Carnaroli?

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Asparagus Tips!

From The Guardian Life & Style/Nigel Slater Recipes

The best spears of your life by Nigel Slater

The ideas became dafter by the year. First was the suggestion of tying the bundles up with string so the spears didn’t move around in the boiling water. (Result: overcooked outer spears, inner ones underdone.) Then the notion of cradling them in a tea towel over the simmering water like the baby Jesus. (Result: you try untying a scorching hot tea towel from a saucepan handle without burning yourself.)

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