asparagus with chorizo and croutons

print now | return to original post

Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons
Adapted from Jacques Pépin

First of all, some confessions: This may be a six-minute meal for you, but some of us still had to be pains in the tuchus’ about it. I ordered a par-baked country loaf from Fresh Direct that first needed to be baked and cooled, before it could be rendered into croutons. (Could I be more ridiculous?) Then I fell all gaga over some cranberry beans at the Greenmarket yesterday, so I had to shuck and pre-boil them before adding them to the dish. (Though canned and drained beans, or skipping the beans entirely, would also do.) And yes, I know asparagus season has really passed but that off-season stuff isn’t a quarter bad.

And now, some cooking notes: The asparagus will be very al dente, cooked in this method. We love it that way, but if you like yours with more give, you can start it a couple minutes earlier in pan or steam it for a minute or two before you add it. Marcona almods are fantastic if you can find them, but because I couldn’t, I used slivered almonds which burned easily — not recommended; use the whole ones. The beans are optional and not part of the original recipe, but we liked them in there a lot.

Serves 4

1 pound large, thick, firm asparagus, lower third of the stalks peeled with a vegetable peeler or snapped off
1/4 cup good olive oil
4 ounces Spanish chorizo (but Portuguese chouriço will work as well), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups 3/4-inch bread cubes (croutons), preferably from a baguette or country bread loaf
1/4 cup whole almonds
1 cup cooked beans (optional; I used 3/4 pound fresh cranberry beans, shucked then boiled for 20 minutes in lightly salted water)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Make this right as you are ready to eat. Cut each asparagus stalk into 3 or 4 pieces. Heat the oil in a large skillet until very hot. Add all the ingredients except the beans, if using, and salt and pepper. Cover and sauté over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes (thinner asparagus might be done sooner), tossing or stirring the mixture a few times, so it browns and cooks on all sides. Add the beans, if using, and salt and pepper, toss again, and serve.


asparagus with chorizo and croutons was originally published on smittenkitchen.com

all content and photos © 2006 - 2013 Smitten Kitchen LLC