I’ve got a big Mediterranean cookbook and an even bigger Italian cookbook that I’ve been neglecting for some time. As I browse around online, it’s all too easy to stumble across a great looking recipe that I add to my list. I get all caught up in these online recipes that I fail to use many of my incredible cookbooks. Well, just the other day, I took out both of those I just mentioned and started looking through them. That reminded me of why I bought them in the first place. I love them so much and so many of the recipes included inside are just awesome. So, I’m going to be doing my best at cooking from those regions of the world for the next few weeks. Just until I get bored and then I’ll switch to something else.
This is a fairly simple dish to prepare. There aren’t many ingredients and the results are great. All that’s required is to fry the garlic, tomatoes and olives and then pan roast the asparagus. Season things up a bit and put everything together. That’s it. I enjoyed the results of this process last night and I think this would be the perfect side dish for an upscale event. Asparagus is always fun because not many folks eat it too often.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
12 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, Chopped
2 Pounds Asparagus, Trimmed
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Sliced Thin
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for their resource called The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. I love this book and I use it often.
Fry the Garlic, Tomatoes & Olives
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to it and then add in the garlic, tomatoes and the olives. Stir and cook for about three minutes. The goal is to get the garlic golden in color, but not any darker than that. You also want the tomatoes to soften a bit and break down somewhat. When finished, transfer the contents of the pan to a bowl and set aside.
Cook the Asparagus
In the same pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and add the asparagus. Add one teaspoon of water and cover the pan and let the asparagus cook for five minutes. After this time, remove the cover and increase the heat to medium-high. Mix up the asparagus a bit and let cook for another five minutes. You want to brown some of the asparagus pieces, but not too much. Also, season with a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the Dish
Turn off the heat and transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Spoon the tomato, garlic and olive mixture over the asparagus and then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and basil on top of that. When finished, serve and enjoy!
The Final Asparagus, Tomato & Garlic Dish
I’d say this was an easy one. I put this entire thing together last night in about 15 minutes. We ate half last night in our salads and we’ll finish it up tonight. It’s got great taste as well as some nice textures. If you give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts down in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!