Yes — it’s that time of year! Enjoy my five best French recipes for asparagus, plus a classic: a recipe for asparagus vinaigrette.
1. French Asparagus and Proscuitto Pasta
Here’s a light and luscious main-dish French asparagus recipe that comes together quickly! Scroll on down–the recipe is at the bottom of this post.
I love serving these either as an appetizer or as a light lunch entree, with a salad or a cup of soup. And no, you don’t have to use goat cheese if you don’t love goat cheese! Any semi-ripened or soft-ish cheese will do. Yes. Even Brie or Camembert.
3. French Asparagus Party Platter Recipe
I serve this platter numerous times every spring. It’s a great sit-down first course when you’re having guests. For a more casual dinner, just serve it with some cheese, pâté, bread — you know, a thoughtful array of small plates. Pass the rosé, of course!
Yes, they’re a wee bit more involved, but isn’t there something just so divine about eggs and asparagus…in a rich, buttery crust? Why, yes there is.
You know how it is: You go to the farmers market. You poke around and load up your basket with all that great food. You spend what seems like the entire morning chatting with everyone you know in town. By the time you’re heading home, you’re so hungry….and while you have armloads of great, fresh food, you want to eat right now. This is the recipe for those times. As long as you’ve picked up some goat cheese, and you have some pasta at home, you’re going to be just fine.
Asparagus Vinaigrette (Asperges Vinaigrette) Recipe
And now: Turn to my classic French Vinaigrette Recipe, which will go perfectly on roasted asparagus. Just drizzle the roasted asparagus with the French vinaigrette. So easy! Serve as a side. Or, poach one egg per person and serve on top of the roasted asparagus as a first course. Or, soft boil some eggs and do the same, as in this photo:
And now, here’s that recipe I promised: French Asparagus Pasta with Prociutto
- 8 ounces dried tagliatelle or fettucine
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 scallions (white portion and some tender green tops), sliced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon chicken base paste, such as Better than Bouillon or ½ teaspoon of crumbled chicken bouillon cube*
- 4 ounces soft-ripened or hard-aged goat cheese (crumbled if soft-ripened, grated if hard)
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley or chives, or a combination
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
- ½ teaspoon Piment d’Espelette or ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons (about 1 ounce)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the tagliatelle according to package directions; drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water. Keep warm. Heat the olive oil in the pot used to cook the pasta over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
- Add the scallions and garlic and cook about 1 minute, until the scallions are slightly tender but not brown.
- Stir the chicken base into the reserved pasta water. Off the heat, add the pasta water to the vegetables (stand back, it will spatter). Boil until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.
- Return the cooked, drained pasta to the pot. Add the goat cheese, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper; toss well to combine. Let stand about 3 minutes (the pasta will absorb some of the liquid). If the pasta seems dry add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream and toss again, gently reheating the pasta if necessary.
- Divide into shallow bowls. Scatter the Piment d’Espelette and the prosciutto ribbons evenly over the plates. Serve immediately.
- * Chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon, is a concentrated chicken paste available in jars in the supermarket, next to the dried bouillon cubes and granules. I find it tastes better than bouillon.
If you like these recipes, I bet you’ll love my cookbook: The Bonne Femme Cookbook—Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day. Just today, I got another five-star review for it on Amazon. Please check it out.
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