Asparagus with maple mustard sauce comes to you courtesy of Pops. You know, my father-in-law.
If you read my last post, you know that Steve and I visited his dad in Kansas last week, and that we had an amazing time.
What you don’t know is that asparagus became the source of some good-natured ribbing between Pops and me. That’s the kind of relationship we have. I lovingly give him a hard time about his diet. He lovingly gives me a hard time about everything else under the sun.
He has so much fun doing it, too! It cracks me up. It always ends with, “you know I’m just kiddin’ ya, Lori-Lou” followed by a loving hug. And he is kidding. And I love him bunches and bunches.
But, back to the asparagus.
Pop’s has asparagus growing in the backyard, planted by Steve’s late mom, Rita. He was explaining that they grow like weeds, and that he is constantly harvesting them, only to see them pop back up. In my excitement about asparagus that amazingly fresh, I told him I couldn’t wait to have some. And then I mentioned that I really could not appreciate canned asparagus which is, to my taste, overcooked to the point of being flavorless mush.
Well, Pops eats his fresh asparagus raw (which is why he grouses about how much there is, because, let’s face it, you can only enjoy so much of it raw without changing up cooking methods). Otherwise, he enjoys his canned asparagus just fine, thank you very much.
And there you have it, I teed the ball and he swung. The game was on.
Believe me, I heard quite a bit about how he loved his canned asparagus. That heck, he’d open the can and just swallow them up one by one, they were so good. And on and on it went. Pops and I would not have near as much fun as we do with each other if we couldn’t find something to spar about and hug afterwards.
We enjoyed meals with family and friends on the first and second nights. On the third night, Pops wanted to grill some ribeyes, so I went to scrounge up some fixin’s (that’s what we call it in Kansas, you know). When I opened the refrigerator, I saw that Pops had harvested a nice bunch of purple asparagus.
Of course, I was going to cook up those beauties. And it seemed like a perfect opportunity to experiment with something new. I ended up with this recipe. Not only did Steve and Pops love it, but our dear friend Chaz, who stopped by, liked it too. And that was immediately after declaring he did not like cooked asparagus. I had to beg him to try one, and once he did, he went and added some to his plate, and quite willingly, too.
So that’s what I mean when I say that this recipe comes to you courtesy of Pops.
let’s make asparagus with maple mustard sauce
The only difference in today’s recipe from when I made it in Kansas is the maple syrup. I prefer pure, organic maple syrup because it tends to be less sugary sweet and have a much cleaner, more pronounced maple flavor. But if you want to use regular maple syrup, add less than the recipe calls for and then test for taste.
First, I mixed the maple and mustard sauce. Since I used minced raw garlic, I wanted the sauce to have time for the garlic oils to blend into the mixture. So, I stirred it together and set it in the refrigerator.
Then I tossed the asparagus in a bit of olive oil, salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
Next, I heated a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Once the pan was very hot, I tossed in the asparagus. I cooked the asparagus just until I started to get some sear marks and it became somewhat tender (not mush…refer to the intro above 🙂 )
Then I pulled it off the heat, placed it in a serving dish, and drizzled the maple and mustard sauce over the top.
It was delicious served warm in Kansas with the grilled ribeye steaks. Last night, Steve and I ate it at room temperature, served with some tilapia that Steve grilled outside.
Either way, the light, creamy texture, with the tang of mustard, and the smoky sweetness of the maple really make the “non-mushy” asparagus shine.
Asparagus is in season. There are so many beautiful ways to enjoy it, so pick a new way and go for it! This may become one of your favorites!
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons pure organic maple syrup
- Cracked pepper
- FOR THE ASPARAGUS
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Cracked pepper
- Start by mixing the sauce ingredients until well blended and place in the refrigerator. That will allow the garlic oils to infuse the mixture.
- Preheat a large cast iron skillet to medium high and allow the pan to become very hot.
- Meanwhile, remove the tough bases of the asparagus, if necessary, then toss in the olive oil, salt and cracked pepper until all the spears are well coated.
- Cook the asparagus in the hot skillet, spreading them in a single layer, if possible.
- Leave the spears on one side long enough so that they develop a slight sear, then toss to sear the other side. Cook to preferred tenderness.
- Remove from flame and serve hot drizzled with the maple mustard sauce.