Courtesy of Molto Italiano by Mario Batali/Ecco, 2005.
|1 1/2 pounds jumbo asparagus||2 tablespoons fresh mint chiffonade|
|Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons||1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil|
|2 cloves garlic, finely minced||1 tablespoon course sea salt|
|2 tablespoons finely-chopped Italian parsley|
Snap off the fibrous bottom part of each stalk of asparagus (it will break off naturally
where it becomes tough, provided that you grasp the very bottom of the woody stalk with
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 3 tablespoons salt. Set up an ice
bath next to the stovetop. Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and cook until crisptender, about 11⁄2 minutes. Remove and immediately submerge in the ice bath to cool for 5 minutes, moving the stalks frequently to be sure no hot spots remain; add more ice if it all melts.
Remove the asparagus and drain on a kitchen towel, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest and the garlic, parsley, mint, and oil and toss gently to mix well. Arrange the spears on a platter and pour the mixture remaining in the bowl over them. Sprinkle with the sea salt and serve with a flourish.
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