Monday, March 29, 2010

Asparagus Provençal

 I made this using 6 pounds of Asparagus that should have fed at least 16. I ran out after 10 guests. Either the rest of our quests were too slow, or someone was having seconds! lol. So if you try this and like it, and if you can get a great price on Asparagus I suggest you double the recipe for the amount of guest you plan on serving. (if by chance you have left overs, these are great in Omelet's) The seasonings are for 1 pound of Asparagus.
If you can't find Herbes de Provence, substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons each dried basil, marjoram, rosemary, sage and thy
2 pounds fresh Asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, cut into thin rings
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
3 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat a medium size pan on medium heat until the rim of the pan is hot-to-the-touch.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add shallots and cook for 1 minute then add bell pepper; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes. (do not over cook) Remove and set aside. In same pan, now add asparagus and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp tender, stirring occasionally. Remove and soak in cold water to stop the cooking process. Add 1 tablespoon butter to heated skillet. Return drained asparagus and sauteed shallots. Cook to heat throughout.  Stir in Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper; sprinkle bacon and plate. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

TIP  I like to drizzle with a bit of Olive Oil and a splash of lemon juice. For special occasions I sprinkle on fresh Parmesan and garnish with lemon zest. This pictures shows a side I served with a pasta dish. I sprinkled the Asparagus with Parmesan.  Serves 8   mangia!
Provence noun
a former province of southeastern France; now administered with Cote d'Azur
 A maritime region of southern France bordering Italy

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