Starry night Green asparagus

Scrol naar beneden voor Nederlands recept.

imageNow what is christmas dinner without proper side dishes? Something like Tyra Banks without extensions!  Since you probably will have your hands full preparing the center piece of your meal I have penned down a quick but oh so yummie side that is both exciting as well as beautiful.

Many original side dishes are often heavy, mushy and beige. In true Soul Foodie spirit this one is quite the opposite. Crisp green asparagus tossed in a ghee, balsamic vinegar, basil and star anise sauce. With roasted pumpkin seeds for extra crunch and decadence. After eating these you will feel as vibrant as the dish looks. And your guest will be oe-ing and ah-ing as soon as you place a gorgeous white platter overflowing with these fertility enhancing spears. This dish is so versatile it goes with virtually anything. From a creamy fennel crumble to the lovely stuffed butternut squash. And the vibrant green colour is X-mas on a plate.

Most traditional Christmas dinners do not include all the 6 Ayurvedic tastes sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Leaving you feeling dissatisfied after the meal, even though you may have eaten a lot of it. The tastes that are most often lacking are bitter and astringent. In Ayurveda asparagus are said to have both these tastes which make them perfect for composing a balanced meal. Also asparagus are considered balancing for all three body types which makes it the perfect dish to serve to a crowd.

I have declared my love for star anise on many occasions on this blog. But in this dish they play an even more central role as they represent the star that guided the three kings to baby Jezus. I know, I get so sentimental at Christmas time…… Have a very merry X-mas my dear Soul Foodies. And stay tuned for my last post of 2015, which I am planning to end on a very sweet note.

imageStarry night Green asparagus

For 4 to 6 as a side dish

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 finely sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger sliced in thin match sticks
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 400 grams green asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • About 90 ml water
  • black pepper and himalaya salt to taste
  • 4 to 5 big basil leaves shredded thinly

Heat the ghee in a frying pan that will hold the asparagus lying down. Once hot add the garlic slices, ginger, pumpkin seeds and star anise. Fry for about a minute, before adding the green asparagus and frying these another minute. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and water and boil for about a minute. Than turn down the heat to its lowest setting and put a lid on top of the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the asparagus are done but still crispy. Test by piercing the thickest one with the tip of a sharp knife. It should pass through easily but still have a tiny bit of resistance.

Remove the lid and if not all the liquid has evapored turn up the heat and wait until it has while shaking the pan to coat the asparagus in the balsamic reduction. Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper and sprinkling with basil.

Nederlands recept

Groene asperges met balsamico en steranijs

Voor 4 tot 6 personen als een bijgerecht

  • 2 eetlepels ghee
  • 2 knoflooktenen in dunne plakjes
  • 1 eetlepel verse gember in dunne reepjes
  • 2 eetlepels pompoenzaadjes
  • 2 steranijs
  • 400 gram groene asperges
  • 3 eetlepels goede kwaliteit balsamico azijn
  • Ongeveer 90 ml water
  • Zwarte peper en himalayazout naar smaak
  • 4 tot 5 grote basilicum blaadjes in dunne reepjes

Verhit de ghee in een koekenpan waar de asperges liggend in passen. Bak hier de knoflook, gember, pompoenzaadjes en steranijs 1 minuutje in. Voeg dan de groene asperges toe en bak nog een minuutje. Giet de balsamico azijn en het wate rin de pan en kook 1 minuutje op hoog vuur. Draai dan het vuur laag en doe een deksel op de pan. Kook in een minuutje of 3 tot 4 de asperges beetgaar. Test of ze klaar zijn door de punt van een scherp mesje in de dikste asperge te steken. Het moet er makkelijk in glijden maar nog een klein beetje weerstand bieden.

Haal het deksel van de pan en als nog niet al het vocht is ingekookt draai je het vuur nog even hoog en wacht je tot er een balsamicosiroop ontstaat. Schud de pan tussentijds om de asperges goed om te roeren in de stroop. Breng tot slot op smaak met zout en peper en besprenkel met de basilicum.






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