Asparagus was everywhere you turned at the Market last Saturday and it was beautiful! Now is the time, while it is in season, to purchase and prepare it at its very. Sometimes though, I get tired of the same old steamed asparagus with lemon; not that it isn’t wonderful and not that simple isn’t often the best way to go. I find myself wondering what I could do with asparagus that I have never tried before — never even heard of.
Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles with Spicy Dipping Sauce
- 30 medium asparagus stalks, trimmed
- 10 slices peppered bacon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha (Asian chili sauce)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Separate asparagus into bundles of 3 stalks each. Carefully wrap a piece of bacon around each bundle, starting about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the tip; secure with a toothpick. Transfer bundles to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Roast, flipping halfway through, until asparagus begin to wilt and bacon is brown, 20 to 22 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, chili sauce, lime juice, cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; season with pepper. Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.
- Transfer bundles to a platter; remove toothpicks. Serve with dipping sauce. Makes 10 bundles and about 1/2 cup of sauce.
I’m thinking the Pig & Fig Bacon from Smoking Goose would be awfully good with the above recipe. We have such wonderful bakery breads at the market that the bread pudding and panzanella recipes would be excellent. (Has anyone noticed that I am particularly fond of bread pudding with just about anything in it?)
These recipes also use a variety of techniques. Some call for grilling the asparagus; some baking, steaming, blanching, and sauteeing. You can also stir-fry it or cook it in parchment. Any way you prepare it, it is delicious and healthful!