College Kitchen, Martha Stewart style: Asparagus tips

Sarah Harper

College Kitchen brought us a lot: along with heartfelt odes to fish sticks and beans, we got healthy recipes and, wait, what kind of "herb" brownies is Sam Linder talking about?

But A&E's very own Chef Boyardee has graduated. I think Linder is off in the wilderness somewhere, or maybe living on a houseboat. The rumors of his whereabouts are nuts and spreading fast, just like the organic almond butter I assume he slathers his homemade bread with.

I admit right now that I can't hold a candle to Linder's food writing prowess, but a girl can try. I just bought some asparagus tips from the grocery store, and by "just," I mean that it was actually over a week ago and they've been sitting in my fridge, all wrapped up and waiting for me to stop being scared of them. I just googled, "Can you eat asparagus raw?" and the answers ranged from "Duh, yes, of course, it's good for you" to "Don't eat the bottom part… It's tough."

But I feel like being fancy, and I feel like cooking them. I don't have a lot of ingredients in my apartment – how I wish Chef Morimoto and the gang was here to provide me with some turtle meat. Chairman, can I turn these asparagus tips into ice cream?

(Turns out I've already made a mistake – allrecipes.com tells me that "Asparagus begins to lose its sweetness as soon as it's picked, so try to cook it as soon as possible after you buy it." Whatever.)

There's a website called Supercook that lets you enter the ingredients you have and it pops out a recipe. It's the coolest and I used that.

An hour later: I decided to make this simple Martha Stewart recipe for sauteed asparagus with lemon. I also ate a few raw.

Here's what Martha suggests:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bunches asparagus (14 ounces each), ends trimmed
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 wide strips lemon zest
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add asparagus, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp-tender, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness. Add lemon zest and cook 1 minute. Add lemon juice, toss to coat, and serve warm.

Verdict: The recipe is good because its simple. I didn't have any roasted lamb, but I think my tips worked well as a meal on their own. Also, asparagus tips are now contending for my new favorite vegetable – they're just like asparagus, but baby-sized, because they're just the tip, baby, right?