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I love the way jumbo asparagus trumpet the arrival of spring. There are restaurants in Italy, particularly Rome, where they devise whole menus of asparagus to celebrate this king of vegetables. This can be served as a side dish or an antipasto.
1. Snap off the fibrous bottom part of each stalk of asparagus (it will break off naturally where it becomes tough, provided that you grasp the very bottom of the woody stalk with your fingertips).
2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 3 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice bath next to the stovetop. Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about l½ minutes. Remove and immediately submerge in the ice bath to cool for 5 minutes, moving the stalks frequently to be sure no hot spots remain; add more ice if it all melts.
3. Remove the asparagus and drain on a kitchen towel, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, orange zest, the garlic, parsley, mint, and olive oil and toss gently to mix well. Arrange the spears on a platter and pour the mixture remaining in the bowl over them. Sprinkle with the sea salt, and serve with a flourish.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings.
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