Asparagus is one of the sure signs of spring, and around here, signs of spring practically make us giddy. Goodbye, dreary Seattle winter. Hello, sun.
So, needless to say, asparagus is gracing our dinner table quite a lot these days. We love it grilled. We love it par-boiled and sauteed with a little garlic and butter, then sprinkled with coarse salt. And we love it served cold after it’s soaked in this incredibly delicious marinade that makes balsamic vinegar lovers swoon.
This super-simple recipe is a great make-ahead dish for busy weeknights or parties – it’s ready, just waiting in the fridge, whenever you are. It comes together in less than 10 minutes, then your refrigerator and the marinade do all the work. Perfect!
Balsamic vinegar and garlic add a hefty dose of flavor, sugar mellows it out a bit and red pepper flakes add a nice little kick.
Happy asparagus eating, and happy spring!
- 2 pounds asparagus
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
- Snap off the tough ends of asparagus and wash asparagus thoroughly.
- Cook asparagus in boiling water for about two minutes, until it’s bright green and just beginning to get tender. Drain.
- Place asparagus in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain.
- Lay asparagus in a 13″ by 9″ baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Pour over asparagus.
- Cover dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- Chill for about 8 hours.
- Using tongs, remove asparagus from marinade and serve.