Asparagus Spears with Anchovy Vinaigrette

By Gail Gordon Oliver

ET33 Gails Asparagus1

As many of you know by now, I love using fresh lemon juice in recipes and am also a huge fan of anchovies. The classic combination here of olive oil, lemon juice, anchovies, Parmigiano, and garlic is the perfect foil for sweet Ontario asparagus. You can make this a warm dish, but be sure to serve it immediately after cooking and dressing the asparagus in order to retain the vibrant green colour of this spring vegetable.

Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed

1/4 cup  extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 drained oil-packed anchovy filets, finely chopped

2 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Asiago cheese, plus a piece for shaving

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp  freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt, to taste

Have ready a large bowl filled with water and ice, for shocking the asparagus. In a large sauté pan, add enough water to reach 2 inches up the side of the pan. Bring the water to the boil. Add about one teaspoon of salt and layer the asparagus evenly in the water. Cook the asparagus uncovered until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes; using tongs, transfer the asparagus to the ice bath; as soon as it is cooled, transfer the asparagus to a clean tea towel to drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, anchovies, cheese, garlic and pepper. Taste and add salt if required. Place the asparagus on a serving platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some cheese on top.