It’s the start of springtime and that means a new abundance of fresh and exciting produce. I’m starting to see the first stone fruit in Israel – loquats, peaches and nectarines. Fresh garlic has peaked and I’ve stocked up as usual. And there’s even asparagus on supermarket shelves. I was working on a spring-themed meal for a piece in the Jewish Daily Forward (read it here) and wanted to combine asparagus – something I associate with springtime back home – and fresh garlic, which I will forever associate with springtime in Israel.
The asparagus is simply steamed, so it’s really the garlic that takes this dish from standard to super. There’s garlic confit, which is garlic slowly cooked in olive oil until tender. Then there’s crispy fried garlic chips, inspired by Beth Michelle’s lovely dish with carrots, goat cheese, and crispy garlic. The olive oil from both the confit and the fried garlic is infused with garlicky goodness and drizzled over the asparagus for a fabulous final touch.
- 1 bunch asparagus (about 10 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 15 or so cloves garlic confit (get recipe here)
- Coarse salt
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, just until tender.
- Drain the asparagus and rinse under cold water to keep it bright green. Dry and transfer to a serving plate.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. Cook until lightly browned and crispy on both sides (be careful not to burn).
- Drizzle the oil and crispy garlic over the asparagus and sprinkle with garlic confit cloves.
- Season with coarse salt and serve.