Asparagus With Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We've been buying such lovely organic asparagus lately. The bunch I used for this dish were delightful - so young and tender - like slender green pencils. Ah, springtime...
Fresh, organic, local asparagus by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog/

This recipe was inspired by my next-door neighbor, Dale, who graciously invited us to join him and his family -- he and his wife have four adorable kids -- for dinner the other night. He'd made a very tasty tomato sauce with pasta and these delicious asparagus (turns out that all their kids love asparagus!)
Fresh, organic, local asparagus by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

What follows is probably a fairly rough interpretation of Dale's recipe (our son was starting to melt down by the end of the meal so my attention was a little divided while Dale was explaining how he'd prepared them) but it turned out very tasty so I'm sharing it with you all.
Asparagus with goat cheese & candied pecans by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

The creamy goat cheese, shallot and bacon complement the fresh flavor of the asparagus in a most addictive way... I added the toasted, candied pecans and liked the little hits of sweet nuttiness they provide. Enjoy!
Asparagus with goat cheese & candied pecans by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Asparagus With Goat Cheese & Toasted Pecans
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

* 1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed, with the woody ends removed (bend them until you find the point at which they snap naturally -- that's the place to break 'em!)
* 1 large shallot (or a small onion will work well if you can't find shallots)
* 1 strip of bacon, chopped into small pieces
*  2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled into small pieces
*  Generous handful of candied pecans - here are two ways to candy nuts- one is quicker and easier but results in stickier nuts and the other is a little bit more time-consuming but the nuts don't turn out sticky and they keep better.

Directions

1. Bring a good-sized pot of water to boil. While you're waiting for it to reach a boil, chop the shallot or onion finely, then add the bacon to a medium-hot frying pan or skillet. If the bacon does not render enough fat on its own to fry the shallot in, just add a little glug of olive oil or butter to the pan. Once the fat or oil is hot, add the shallot and sautee until softened and translucent - 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and remove from the pan from burner.

2. Once the water has reached a boil, add the asparagus and blanch them for roughly 2 minutes or until the stalks reach the desired level of doneness (is that a word?!) Remove them with a slotted spoon, drain and then add them to the frying pan with the shallot. Toss until the asparagus is well-coated with the shallot and bacon fat mixture. Add the goat cheese and transfer to a serving dish or platter. Garnish with the candied pecans and serve.

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6 comments:

Alicia said...

Yum, yum I must have some. Happily all the ingredients are in my fridge or pantry at the moment so I'm thinking.....dinner.
I'm going to add a balsamic syrup drizzle to the mix though.

Kirsten Lindquist said...

Love the addition of pecans!

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Your photos are great. They jump right off the page. Love the asparagus one of my favorites. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of using candied pecans with the asparagus. I bet you the sweetness of the pecans brings a surprising flair to this dish! If I wanted to introduce someone to aspragus, I think this would be my go-to. Thanks!

--Jeanne / Saucy Seasonal Chef (www.saucyseasonalchef.com)

Sense of Home said...

Mmm, another good recipe for all my asparagus.

DSF said...

Eve,

The best part of the meal was having the three of you join us. Alicia was spot on, too, as I did add balsamic vinegar to the dish - it works great with these flavors though I must say that balsamic syrup (and Eve's addition of the nuts) sounds even better.

My kids do love asparagus but I will admit that the bacon draws in the meat-focused of the bunch (our son).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Asparagus With Goat Cheese & Candied Pecans

We've been buying such lovely organic asparagus lately. The bunch I used for this dish were delightful - so young and tender - like slender green pencils. Ah, springtime...
Fresh, organic, local asparagus by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog/

This recipe was inspired by my next-door neighbor, Dale, who graciously invited us to join him and his family -- he and his wife have four adorable kids -- for dinner the other night. He'd made a very tasty tomato sauce with pasta and these delicious asparagus (turns out that all their kids love asparagus!)
Fresh, organic, local asparagus by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

What follows is probably a fairly rough interpretation of Dale's recipe (our son was starting to melt down by the end of the meal so my attention was a little divided while Dale was explaining how he'd prepared them) but it turned out very tasty so I'm sharing it with you all.
Asparagus with goat cheese & candied pecans by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

The creamy goat cheese, shallot and bacon complement the fresh flavor of the asparagus in a most addictive way... I added the toasted, candied pecans and liked the little hits of sweet nuttiness they provide. Enjoy!
Asparagus with goat cheese & candied pecans by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

Asparagus With Goat Cheese & Toasted Pecans
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

* 1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed, with the woody ends removed (bend them until you find the point at which they snap naturally -- that's the place to break 'em!)
* 1 large shallot (or a small onion will work well if you can't find shallots)
* 1 strip of bacon, chopped into small pieces
*  2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled into small pieces
*  Generous handful of candied pecans - here are two ways to candy nuts- one is quicker and easier but results in stickier nuts and the other is a little bit more time-consuming but the nuts don't turn out sticky and they keep better.

Directions

1. Bring a good-sized pot of water to boil. While you're waiting for it to reach a boil, chop the shallot or onion finely, then add the bacon to a medium-hot frying pan or skillet. If the bacon does not render enough fat on its own to fry the shallot in, just add a little glug of olive oil or butter to the pan. Once the fat or oil is hot, add the shallot and sautee until softened and translucent - 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and remove from the pan from burner.

2. Once the water has reached a boil, add the asparagus and blanch them for roughly 2 minutes or until the stalks reach the desired level of doneness (is that a word?!) Remove them with a slotted spoon, drain and then add them to the frying pan with the shallot. Toss until the asparagus is well-coated with the shallot and bacon fat mixture. Add the goat cheese and transfer to a serving dish or platter. Garnish with the candied pecans and serve.

More recipes you might like:

6 comments:

Alicia said...

Yum, yum I must have some. Happily all the ingredients are in my fridge or pantry at the moment so I'm thinking.....dinner.
I'm going to add a balsamic syrup drizzle to the mix though.

Kirsten Lindquist said...

Love the addition of pecans!

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Your photos are great. They jump right off the page. Love the asparagus one of my favorites. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of using candied pecans with the asparagus. I bet you the sweetness of the pecans brings a surprising flair to this dish! If I wanted to introduce someone to aspragus, I think this would be my go-to. Thanks!

--Jeanne / Saucy Seasonal Chef (www.saucyseasonalchef.com)

Sense of Home said...

Mmm, another good recipe for all my asparagus.

DSF said...

Eve,

The best part of the meal was having the three of you join us. Alicia was spot on, too, as I did add balsamic vinegar to the dish - it works great with these flavors though I must say that balsamic syrup (and Eve's addition of the nuts) sounds even better.

My kids do love asparagus but I will admit that the bacon draws in the meat-focused of the bunch (our son).