January 14, 2017
Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish,
Sauce, Dairy, Vegetables, Asparagus, North American, Easy/Beginner Cooking, Quick Meals, Small Batch Cooking, Brunch, Entertaining, Ladies Luncheon, Mother's Day, Summer, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Weeknight Meals, Blender, Food Processor, Refrigerator, Stove Top, No Eggs, Herbs, Spring more
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"This sauce is so versatile; and, with just a few 'additions and/or changes,' you can really create, 4 completely different dishes - just using the basic sauce. First, a savory rice dish - second, a cheesy creamy pasta - third, a silky sauce to serve with grilled seafood - and; fourth, a minty sauce to serve with lamb. And, it is great to make ahead as well. The basic sauce is only 4 ingredients; then, by simply changing up the herbs, and/or adding one or two additional ingredients - you can make 4 different, and amazing dishes."
Base Asparagus Sauce ... To cook the asparagus; I prefer to use a large saute pan vs a pot; as it comes to a boil much quicker. Bring the salted water up to a light boil; and, add the asparagus. Cook the asparagus stems first, until soft and tender (4-5 minutes); then, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Now, add your asparagus tips; and cook 2-3 minutes. I cook them separate, because the stems take longer. Again, once tender, move to the bowl of ice water. After the asparagus has cooled off; transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel - to drain and cool. NOW, don't forget to reserve some of the water you cooked the asparagus in.
Puree ... Add the cooled asparagus to a blender/food processor, along with the olive oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper; lemon zest and juice; and, whatever herb you are using - this changes according to what sauce you are making. Then, puree until until smooth and creamy. Add a little water; just until you get a smooth and creamy consistency, usually 2-3 tablespoons is all you will need.
Now, the sauce is done. You can refrigerate this for a day or so; or, use immediately.
1 - Lemon Asparagus Rice ... Make the sauce as is - but, use lemon basil or regular basil (or a mix), and parsley as your herb in the sauce. Toss with cooked rice; and, the nuts.
2 - Cheesy Lemon Asparagus Pasta ... Make the sauce as is - but use a mix of basil, thyme and oregano as the herbs in the sauce. Toss with the cooked pasta and goat cheese. And, use a little of the pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed.
3 - Silky Asparagus Sauce for Seafood ... Make the sauce as is - but, use chives, tarragon and mint as your herbs. Add a splash of cream 2-3 tablespoons, to your liking; and, serve over your favorite grilled seafood. Fish, scallops, lobster, shrimp, etc.
4 - Minted Asparagus Yogurt Sauce ... Make the sauce as is - but, use mint, chives and basil as the herbs. Then, stir in the Greek yogurt; and serve chilled with lamb.
NOTE: You can always add additional ingredients; but, I try to keep this sauce pretty basic. All, very simple store ingredients; and, nothing that is difficult or time consuming. And, you can make 4 very different dishes - with one basic recipe.
Serve and ENJOY!
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