lenten spring asparagus
This super yummy Lenten Spring Asparagus pairs well as a side dish with any lenten meal. If you want, you can substitute it as your salad, because it can be served warm or cold.
A crunchy veggie dish like this is also great for those nights when you have everything tapas style…. little bowls of lots of leftovers or dips and sauces and breads.
Lenten Spring Asparagus
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 teaspoon lemon zest (organic lemon – wash it before you zest)
6 kalamata olives pitted and sliced (you can use any variety)
If you are not fasting, drizzle with extra virgin cold or expeller pressed olive oil
Wash your asparagus and cut the bottom inch and a half off. Leave the stalks long. Heat a large non-stick skillet and place asparagus in it. You should hear a sizzling sound. Let it cook for about five minutes. You can move it around, but I like to leave it in one place so the part of the asparagus on the pan gets a little caramelized. It should have a bright green color when you take it off, and also still have a crispiness to it. (Cooking note: Some people like to boil their asparagus, but I prefer not too simply because vitamins and minerals will leach into the water – you get less nutrition that way.)
Place on serving dish. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle zest and olives on top of the asparagus.
Whole foods…. they are good for you! Asparagus is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory food. It is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. “Fermented olives” have probiotics and healthy bacteria and health protective nutrients. The real surprise though is the lemon peel. Lemon peel is a source of lemonene, which is a phytochemical found to prevent and even treat cancer in animals. Lemonene is supportive of our livers (which are amazing) and a strong inducer of liver detoxification enzymes that neutralize carcinogens. Lenten or not, this is a very healthy side dish.