Did I Shave My Asparagus For This?
Yes I did.
And while my pathetic attempted title plagiarism of a 1996 country album may be surprising, the fact that this asparagus took a long, hot bath in bacon drippings is not. You know me.
You probably know me enough to assume that I was not listening to country music in 1996, and there was no way that Mr. How Sweet influenced me back then… which is good considering that association would have been highly illegal in 1996. I did, in fact, know the title of that album, if only for the reason that at the same time, that same summer, as I was belting “Strawberry Wine” while engulfed in an issue of Seventeen and simultaneously over-tweezing my eyebrows, I was begging my mom to let me shave my legs. My only thought? Um, who wouldn’t shave their legs for this? I totally would. If I was allowed.
If you suppose I am giving up my vegetable hating roots for a new greener, fresher, crispier perspective, be not afraid. Even I can survive a few forkfuls of greenery drenched in salty bacon fat. And after 24 hours of straight sugar consumption, complete with mashed potato and glazed ham bookends, bites of potato chip potato casserole and copious amounts of wine, something green appeared to be inevitable. Wise even. The mature choice. The pants fitting choice. So I ate some.
As a side to my pizza of course. I haven’t ventured to your dark side just yet.
Shaved Asparagus Salad
10-12 asparagus spears (or more depending how thick they are)
1 slice bacon
3 cups fresh arugula
1 shallot, sliced
1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 orange, juiced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I actually used pecorino roma – either will work)
Snap the ends off of the asparagus and discard or save for later use. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel the asparagus spears into long ribbons, starting from bottom to top. I find the firmed I press down, the thicker the strips will be. Set aside.
Heat a skillet of medium heat. Chop bacon and add it to the skillet, browning until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel, leaving the drippings. Add asparagus and shallot to the skillet and stir to coat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until asparagus softens and shallot is translucent.
Add arugula to a large salad bowl. Add orange slices, vinegar and orange juice and mix thoroughly. Add in asparagus, cheese and bacon, tossing to coat and mix the entire salad. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
I never like being a grown up when rabbit food is involved.