The asparagus at the market looked tempting, I had some hazelnuts already roasted stashed away in a corner of the fridge; and Rich was itchin’ to try the black truffle oil we had bought from the nice folks at Oro di Oliva in Wauwautosa. Seemed like the perfect time to try this recipe I was emailed.
The official recipe was ‘Asparagus with Hazelnut Gremolata’ – but I was fresh out of parsley, which is kind of required to make that classic Milanese condiment of lemon, parsley and garlic, so it became plain ole ‘Asparagus with Hazelnuts’ – tho’ I’ve left in the parsley amounts and instructions.
•1 lb Asparagus, tough ends removed, peeled
•1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
•1 tbsp parsley, chopped
•1 can toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped*
•1/4 tsp Finely grated lemon zest
•2 tsp Fresh lemon juice
•1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil – I substituted Black Truffle Oil
•1/4 tsp Salt
In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil, add the asparagus and cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove and drain.
In a large bowl, mix the asparagus, garlic, chopped parsley, hazelnuts, the 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, the lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Toss well to mix and coat.
*If you need to roast your hazelnuts – preheat your oven to 375º and spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for around 10 minutes – just until the nuts begin to turn golden brown. Let cool and turn out into a colander. Rub handfuls of the roasted nuts in your cupped hands to remove the papery brown skin (don’t worry about getting all of it off) – you’ll end up with something like this:
You are now good to go with freshly roasted nuts. I make a large-ish batch and stash the leftovers in the fridge. Couldn’t hurt, might help.