This Spanish inspired recipe of lightly cooked asparagus served with onions, red peppers and garlic sautéed in lashings of olive oil. I love it as a side with fish or steak, and it works great as a potluck dish.
Asparagus is a fantastic vegetable – full of hormone-balancing nutrients, fibre and antioxidants – and it’s especially lovely in season. It’s also very pretty with its pointy, dragon skin like spears and looks great with bright colours.
Because asparagus itself has a pretty neutral flavour, it’s a great vehicle for sauces and punchier ingredients such as hollandaise, bacon, garlic aioli and so on. I thought it would work really well with slowly cooked onions, peppers and garlic, and the olive oil infused with the flavours of those foods. It’s also known as sofrito and is the base of Spanish paella.
For an even punchier flavour, you can add chopped chorizo or bacon to the cooking mixture. Both work really well with asparagus.
Enjoy this dish warm or cold, and use it as a side with your fish, chicken or meat or as a colourful potluck dish at a dinner party. Leftovers are great in an omelette, by the way.
- ½ large onion, finely diced
- 1 long red pepper or round capsicum/bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 2 bunches of asparagus spears, hard ends chopped off
- ½ juice of lemon
- Add the onion, peppers, olive oil and salt to a medium frying pan and heat over medium heat. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions and peppers are really soft and slightly caramelized.
- Add the garlic and stir through for a minute, turn the heat off and set aside.
- In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus. Cook for 2 minutes, then strain and set aside.
- Serve the asparagus cold or quickly reheated in the pan, with the onion and pepper mixture spread over the top. This dish can be either hot or cold.
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