Maple, Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar-glazed Asparagus
(Makes 4 servings)
Recipe by Bill Jones
Maple, Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar Glaze:
- 2Tb mustard - 30ml
- 1Tb maple syrup (or honey) - 15ml
- 2Tb balsamic vinegar - 30ml
- 1tsp hot sauce (optional) - 5ml
- 1Tb Vegetable oil 15ml
- 1lb asparagus, trimmed and halved - 500ml
- 1Tb garlic, minced - 15ml
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock - 125ml
- 1Tb toasted sesame seeds - 15ml
1.) In a small bowl, stir together mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and hot sauce. Set the glaze aside.
2.) In a nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil. Add bottom halves of asparagus spears (cut thick pieces in half lengthwise) and sauté over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add the asparagus tips and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes more.
3.) Add stock to the asparagus mixture and increase the heat to high. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is evaporated and the asparagus is tender. Add the glaze and cool for 1 to 2 minutes, allowing it to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat.
4.)To serve, arrange the asparagus on a platter and garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Note: Pan-Roasting asparagus concentrates the flavour and slightly chars the outside of the vegetable. The glaze is added near the end of cooking, as the sugar will burn quickly in a hot pan.
From page 93 of Bill Jones' cookbook:
Other recipe suggestions
- John Groves at the Page Point Inn in Ladysmith suggests lightly poaching the asparagus, then marinating it in Triple Sec liqueur and orange juice along with some salt and pepper.
- Mara Jernigan likes to make asparagus risotto. Follow any basic risotto recipe, stirring some asparagus tips into the rice when it is just about finished cooking. Also blanch and puree the stems of the asparagus and stir that into the rice near the end of cooking so the whole batch takes on a lovely green colour.
- I like grilling the asparagus on the bbq just until the spears are lightly charred, then I put them on a plate, drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and shave some curls of parmesan cheese on top.
Buying and Preparation Tips
- When buying asparagus, make sure the stems are smooth, not wrinkled, and that the tips are tightly curled. Store them in a plastic bag in the fridge, perhaps with a damp paper towel to keep them fresh.
- To trim, just hold the stem of the asparagus in one hand and snap the stem end off with your other hand. The spear should snap right at the spot where it is becoming woody and inedible.