This weekend was my husband’s birthday. Every year, on his birthday, I make him a special meal followed by a dessert of his choice. For this meal, I made him a Seared Rack of Lamb with Salsa Verde, Asparagus with Tomato and Garlic Confit, Pommes Anna, and Rebecca Rather’s Tropical Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting, Kevin’s favorite. I got up early on Saturday to get started on all those delicious dishes. The next few posts will contain the recipes from my husband’s birthday meal.
ASPARAGUS WITH TOMATO AND GARLIC CONFIT
3 lbs Asparagus
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 head Garlic
4 sprigs Thyme
1 to 1 1/3 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
3 quarts boiling Water
3 tablespoons Salt
In a small sauce pan on low heat, pour in the olive oil and add the peeled garlic, tomatoes, and thyme sprigs. Let the tomatoes and garlic cook or confit for about 2 hours, or until the garlic is very soft. Remove them from the heat, and remove the thyme sprigs. You may go ahead and remove the tomatoes and garlic from the confit oil. Make sure to reserve some of the confit oil for the asparagus, and the rest for another dish or bread dipping.
Meanwhile, clean the asparagus and remove their wooden ends. Slice them diagonally into 3 or 4 equal segments. In another pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of salt, then add the sliced asparagus. Parboil the asparagus for 4 minutes, then place them in ice water. This process stops the cooking process, as you don’t want the asparagus to be overcooked or mushy, while retaining their deep green color. After a couple of minutes or so, remove the asparagus from the ice water and dry them thoroughly.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, pour 3 tablespoons of the reserved confit olive oil, then add the sliced asparagus, half the salt and pepper. After the asparagus have warmed up, gently toss in the tomatoes and garlic with the rest of the salt and pepper. Gently mix everything together, then place them in a serving dish. This is a very delicious and bright side dish. It goes very well with meat and fish dishes. In this instance, the main dish is lamb, which will be featured in the next post. I hope you enjoy this very yummy side dish!