Asparagus is a stunning vegetable, and quite unique in its flavour and the effect it has on um… your body. it grows rapidly directly out the ground and when cooked perfectly, it has to be one of the best vegetables to eat in summer. When I say cooked perfectly, I mean cooked to its bare minimum so that its just off raw (which is not nice), and not too much that it goes limp in any way. It still needs to have a slight bite to its texture.
I find the best way to cook asparagus is to lightly steam (blanche) it in an open pan with a thin layer of boiling water for exactly 2 minutes (a bit longer if they are very thick). They turn a beautiful emerald green and the thickest part of the stalk just gives way when you pierce it with a sharp knife.
If I add asparagus to any dish I will normally do it right at the end like with a risotto or a stir fry, but generally I prefer this spectacular vegetable to be cooked on its own and appreciated on the side.
It definitely needs salt and I do love salt, so decided to try out the Black Hawaiian Lava salt I had in my prized collectors box I bought from Woolies for Christmas.
If you are a salt geek like myself, you may be starting to feel a bit of envy, I am sorry about that.
I last tried this salt at the Salt and food wine pairing lunch at Die Bergkelder last year and where Craig Cormack who has the largest salt collection in South Africa, paired dishes with specific salts and Fleur du Cap wines.
The black salt impressed me on that occasion and I simply loved it sprinkled on these asparagus. It is quite a mild tasting which means you can add more of it, and it has a wonderful crunchy texture.