Green Asparagus roasted in the pan on the highest heat, and then seasoned with Salt, Sugar and a little Olive Oil, is probably my favourite way to eat Asparagus. A slight chargrilled aroma, the Green Stems are slightly caramelised due to the Sugar, and are still crunchy to the bite due the fast high-heat cooking. Grapefruit and Star Anise are a great combination and addition to the Green Asparagus, and this side dish works really well with Couscous, Cauliflower Puree and as a side dish with new Potatoes, or a big green Salad.
400 g Green Asparagus
3 Petals Star Anise
2 Tsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Prepare the Asparagus, by washing and chopping the ends off. Then chop the stems into 3 cm lengths cutting on the diagonal.
Prepare the Grapefruit by cutting the top and bottom off so that you can just see the fruit. Then using a sharp knife, slice the peel away from the top to the bottom making sure that you cut away all the white pith, but not too deep into the rosy red fruit. Work around the fruit until all the peel and pith has been removed. Hold the Grapefruit in the hand you don’t cut with, and hold it over a bowl. Using a sharp knife, remove the individual Grapefruit segments by slicing down the sides of the white separators. Be careful not to slip and slice your hand at this part! The bowl underneath will capture all the escaping juice. The segments should be placed in another bowl. Once all the segments have been removed, finally squeeze out all the remaining juice from the core, and then throw what’s left away.
In a Mortar add the Star Anise Petals and a pinch of Salt, and grind to a fine powder. Add the Ground Star Anise to the Grapefruit Juice.
Heat a large frying pan on a high heat. Once it’s got very hot add the Olive Oil, and then the Asparagus. Spread them out and allow them to catch a little colour. Once they start to go a deep roasted brown on the one side, toss them in the pan, so that they can roast on another side. Keep the heat high, we want to cook them fast, adding a lovely roasted flavour but not over cooking them. Once they have a roasted colour on two sides, sprinkle the Asparagus with the Sugar and a generous pinch of Salt. Toss it all together and allow the Sugar to caramelise. Deglaze with the Grapefruit Juice, and finally add the Grapefruit Segments and carefully toss all together. Check for seasoning and serve immediately.
If you made this recipe or have any questions, I’d love to hear from you! There’s a comment section below 🙂