Skillet-seared Asparagus (Serves 8)
2 bunches (1 pound each) asparagus
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Wash and trim asparagus spears, cutting off and discarding thick ends. Pat dry.
Heat a heavy iron skillet over high heat. Add olive oil along with herbs and spices. When the oil is hot and shimmering, but not smoking, add the asparagus spears in a single layer. Sauté for two to three minutes or until the spears turn bright green and are slightly charred. Remove from pan and serve immediately with a dash of sea salt.
“This wine was made for one of wine and food’s toughest pairings. A 2003 Paul Anh euser Weissburgunder Pinot Blanc [Trocken QBA, Nahe, Germany] features bright fruit characters accented by a racy acidity and stony minerality that complements the tough steminess of the asparagus. Cloves and heat from cayenne pepper should appear on the finish when the bright acidity tames the spice and slights the heat.”
By Matt Swingos, Swingos on the Lake