Asparagus is a sacred vegetable around my house. It’s rarely priced right, and often it’s not in the best shape. So when I can get my hands on some, I do.
Around midnight a couple days ago, I stopped by the grocery store after a long day with the sole intent of purchasing some A1 Steak Sauce. Just a few hours earlier I committed the sin of making steak without having any on hand. I would bathe in it if I could. “No probs,” I thought (though slightly panicked), and I reached for the ingredients to make my own. I was out of those too. Fail x 2.
Not wanting to be found in that situation again any time soon, I made the late-night run to my neighborhood Smith’s. As I walked into the grocery store, I found a fresh display of asparagus staring me in the face. At only $1.99/lb, I didn’t hesitate to buy a few bundles. Around here you don’t get asparagus for much cheaper, even during its peak season. As it happened, in my excitement I went to check out and realized in line that I had forgotten the whole reason of my being there. Oops.
Side note… a few days later it went on sale for $1.49/lb, ha ha! So of course I bought a few more bundles…
As it goes, I love asparagus and find it to be quite diverse in its functions. I mean, think about it. You can pair asparagus with bacon and bacon. If you want, you can even pair it with more bacon. That’s hot. There aren’t many veggies that you can do that with, am I right? But seriously, it’s a fantastic veggie and does pair well with all sorts of flavors. Two of my favorites are tomato and lemon.
And that’s where this recipe comes along. It’s a simple entry recipe into the world of asparagus, and its simplicity makes it all the more delicious. Let’s get started and walk through it.
Asparagus Recipe with Lemon, Tomato, and Queso Fresco
Note: I like cooking this recipe in at least a 9″ x 11″ electric skillet. It’s not required, but it speeds it up a bit and keeps you from having to do it in a couple batches. You could even do this on a grill if you wanted to.
Start by washing and drying your asparagus, lemon, and tomato. They’ve got stranger’s hand germs all over them, blech. Wash ’em. Wash ’em good. Prep the asparagus by holding it on both ends and pulling the top-end down until it breaks at it’s natural breaking position.
Quarter your lemon length-wise and remove the seeds the best you can without destroying the flesh. From there, slice it into very thin slices. You want them thin enough so that the pith and skin don’t register as too bitter, but thick enough that it gives a little crunch. I cut it about 1mm thick. You’re not going to use the full lemon, maybe 1/2 of it, or even 3/4.
Cut your Roma tomato in half length-wise and slice it into slightly thicker pieces than the lemon, about 3mm.
Heat your skillet to medium and once it’s there, add your olive You don’t need a lot, just to encourage … . I’m a HUGE fan of flavored oil. If you have some at your disposal, you can try some of that. Garlic or chile pepper flavors are a nice twist. (And if push comes to shove, you can use some butter if needed. It doesn’t give the same flavor, but it’s effective.)
Add your asparagus to the pan. Rotate every couple of minutes. Near the end of it’s cooking, lightly salt and pepper. Remove from the pan, top with the lemon and tomato, and crumble the cheese over the top.
Serve immediately because asparagus has a way of wrinkling up and looking odd if it sits for too long after cooking.
Save this Recipe
- As a PDF: Asparagus with Lemon, Tomato, and Queso Fresco Recipe.pdf
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|4 people||5 minutes|
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb asparagus
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large Roma Tomato
- 1 large lemon
- 4 oz queso fresco ~1/3 of a wheel
- Wash the asparagus, lemon, and tomato. Snap the asparagus at its natural breaking point near the base. Cut the lemon in quarters length wise, and then cut the quarters into small 1mm thick slices. Cut the tomato in half length wise and then slice into 3 mm thick pieces.
- Heat a skillet to medium, add the oil, and then the prepped asparagus. Rotate every couple minutes until done, about 10 minutes. Lightly salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate the asparagus, top with the tomato and lemon. Crumble the queso fresco on top and serve.
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