Easter is almost here, which means my mind is on Becky’s Easter Asparagus.
Becky is my brother’s godmother, and my parents are godparents to Becky’s son Matthew. Further, Becky divorced and remarried my godfather (who had also divorced). I guess that makes Becky my step-godmother? Once removed? It’s tricky. Oh, those crazy Episcopalians.
Anyway, Becky is a dear family friend (our families spent a lot of time camping together; there’s something about living in tents and being grungy that brings you closer), and every year she hosts a post-church, potluck Easter lunch at her beautiful, brown-shingled house nestled in the Berkeley hills.
I haven’t been to Becky’s party for many years (my parents still go, though), but I have fond memories of those Easters past. In true bay area fashion, most every one felt more like Christmas, blanketed with fog and chilly with damp and dew. Yet everyone at Becky’s gathered outside, huddled in groups of three or more for heat as much as for conversation. Except me. I was inside, eating Becky’s asparagus.
Every year, Becky made a simple, but simply perfect, sesame asparagus.
It had the perfect balance of flavors—salty, umami, sour, just a hint of sweet, and a final complement of toasted sesame seeds. Of course, I did not think about any of these factors at the time. I only knew that I loved it, and because I only had the good fortune to get it once a year, I was going to make certain I got my due share.
This recipe is directly inspired by Becky’s recipe. Rather than steam or blanch the asparagus, I roast it, coated with sesame oil and sprinkled with some chopped fresh ginger, and serve it warm.
Kevin likes it, too, but he was happy to let me hoard most of it. Happy Easter!
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 1-1/2 tablespoosn Asian (toasted/dark) sesame oil
- fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Spread the asparagus on a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with sesame oil and season with salt; sprinkle with ginger.
- Roast for 11 to 15 minutes (it will vary depending on thickness of asparagus) until tender.
- Drizzle with vinegar and soy sauce. Serve