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Author Notes: A vegan, 5-ingredient treatment for asparagus with a sneaky way of bringing out its sweeter side. All you have to do is ignore the season, and all conventional wisdom. Adapted slightly from Vegetable Harvest: Vegetables at the Center of the Plate (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007). —Genius Recipes
- 16 plump spears (about 2 pounds) fresh white or green asparagus
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Several sprigs fresh rosemary
- Several bay leaves, preferably fresh
- Rinse the asparagus and trim the tough ends.
- In a skillet large enough to hold the asparagus in a single layer, combine the oil, asparagus, salt, rosemary, and bay leaves. Sprinkle with several tablespoons of cold water, enough to cover the asparagus by about one-third. Cover.
- Cook over high heat just until the oil and water mixture begins to sizzle.
- Reduce the heat to medium and braise the asparagus, turning from time to time (leave the lid off or ajar -- by the time the asparagus is tender, the liquid should have cooked off), just until the vegetable begins to brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the asparagus). Serve immediately.
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