I am not much of a cook but I like to eat and enjoy roaming the local markets on the look out for seasonal treats. Today I came home with fresh garlic (ail frais, also called ail nouveau -new garlic), wild asparagus* (asperge sauvage), and white asparagus (asperge blanche). In my twenties I lived by the Three Ingredient Rule, I didn’t make anything that required more than three ingredients and, as a friend used to say, that includes salt and pepper. Fortunately that friend taught me to branch out and expand my culinary horizons. Ironically, tonight’s pièce de résistance is consistent with the Three Ingredient Rule: fresh garlic, butter, wild asparagus (I cheated and sprinkled on a little fleur de sel at the end).
I sliced two cloves of garlic, sauteed them in butter until golden brown, then added the wild asparagus and sauteed the whole thing until the asparagus glowed green and were just starting to wilt. The sharp tanginess of the garlic made the asparagus taste all the sweeter. This was a rare culinary triumph** which I hope to repeat again very soon.
Tomorrow I’m going to try the white asparagus. This will be my second attempt at mastering these pale monsters. I don’t think I peeled them adequately the first time, the end product was pretty to look at but so bitter I ended up throwing them into the poubelle (trashcan).
Update (18 juin 2013): I finally got around to eating the white asparagus and they were tasty though not as exciting as their untamed cousins. I followed a friend’s advice and peeled away more than seemed justified and added more sugar to the water than I had the previous time.
*I had never seen these before and, at first glance, thought they were some sort of green wheat.
**I know talking about one’s dinner is gratuitous and annoying but sometimes it just can’t be helped.
Side note: I didn’t notice the usual after effects I’m accustomed to when eating asparagus.