Asparagus is at the height of its season here in San Diego, and we are enjoying it every week. Sometimes, I roast it with a drizzle of olive oil and finish it with some grated Parmesan. Other nights, I steam it and serve it with a crumbly mixture of panko, butter and lemon zest. Last night, I stir-fried some asparagus with pancetta, another family favorite.
This quick and easy asparagus stir-fry is a winner of a recipe. In fact, It won the food52 contest for best asparagus recipe back in 2010. Submitted by “kaykay”, this well-deserved win was entitled “Absurdly Addictive Asparagus”. I liked it so much that I have been making it ever since – so, time to share.
I have changed the recipe only slightly, preferring shallots to leeks and omitting any salt. I like to peel my asparagus the way my Italian cooking teacher taught me, and prefer to use a medium-sized wok instead of the large skillet suggested in the original recipe.
TIP: Trader Joe’s sells packages of chopped pancetta that are exactly 4 ounces in weight.
- 4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pound asparagus, peeled, ends chopped and cut into 2 inch pieces on the bias.
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- 2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaved parsley, roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Using a medium-sized wok, sauté pancetta over medium heat, stirring, until crisp.
- Add the butter to the wok, allow it to melt, then add the asparagus and shallots.
- Sauté over medium heat until asparagus is crisp tender, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, lemon zest, pine nuts and parsley. Cook for 1 more minute. Season with salt, if desired, and pepper.
- Serve immediately.