This recipe is so simple that I’m almost embarrassed to post it. It’s kind of like telling you how to make toast. But this is my blog, so too bad :). Seriously though, sometimes all you need is two distinct flavours or ingredients that pair beautifully together to make a spectacularly simple & classic dish, like butter & onions, lemon & lavender, or tomatoes & basil. Or chicken and a chicken container (last pairing courtesy of my brother).
This is one of the easiest and fastest asparagus recipes you’ll come across. There are 5 ingredients, and 3 are things that I know you have in your cupboard – Olive oil, salt & pepper. I chose hazelnuts for this recipe because I’m not a huge fan of hazelnuts without chocolate (damn you, Ferrero Rocher and Nutella) and like I said, I think it pairs especially well in this recipe. If you don’t have hazelnuts, no worries. You can easily substitute almonds or walnuts. Tip: If you know that you use roasted nuts a lot, roast them in big batches. It’s no skin off your nose (just the skin off the hazelnuts! Ha!) and will significantly shorten your work if you have a craving for anything that you want to put nuts in – salads, pilafs, roasted nut butter, granola bars, toppings, etc.
1 bunch Asparagus
1/4 – 1/2 cup Hazelnuts
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Roast Hazelnuts in your oven at 350 for 10 mins. Allow to cool, and rub the nuts to remove the skins. Chop roughly. You want some small, crumb-like pieces and also some larger, chunkier pieces.
Trim Asparagus by snapping off the woody stalk at the bottom. The easiest way is to bend the asparagus spear and it will magically snap off at the right spot.
Warm olive oil in a skillet. Add asparagus, salt & pepper and sauté for about 30 seconds on medium heat. Add nuts and stir to coat the nuts with oil. Cover skillet and allow to cook for about 1 minute. The asparagus should be bright green at this point. Turn off heat, stir once more, and replace cover. Allow the residual heat to steam the asparagus for about 1 minute more.
Now, with that business out of the way, it’s time for the cocktail name reveal. Last week, I asked you guys to vote on the best name for my cocktail recipe containing lavender infused syrup, lemon juice, tonic water and vodka. There were some fantastic suggestions, and I have to give a special shoutout to my friend Deslyn for the “Laventini” suggestion and Stacey for “Aromatini”. I really liked both. Now, without further ado…the winning name is: Lavender Breeze! Congrats to my buddy Adam who clearly knows what a drinking audience likes. His other suggestion got second place so his skills aren’t a fluke :). Let’s have a round on me to celebrate!