I think we talked recently about low effort, high reward recipes. Add this one to that coveted list! The funny thing is, when I looked back to see which recipe I described that way, there were so many that it could have been.
So as I anticipate the seasonal return of one of my favorite local vegetables—three cheers for asparagus!—I figured this would an ideal time to mention a handful of recipes that I find myself consistently returning to in my weekly cooking…even as I look forward to coming up with new ideas for the seasonal bounty that will soon be sprouting all around us.
My family LOVES it when I make a regular version of this silly meatloaf recipe. By regular, I mean pat it into a traditional shape loaf and skip the mashed potato icing (although that does taste great!). I do add a simple ketchup-Dijon mustard-balsamic vinegar glaze. The loaf has incredible flavor and slices beautifully.
When opting for “the other white meat,” I’ll often whip up these speedy pork chops that are brimming with saucy Asian flavor.
I keep fillets of frozen sockeye salmon in my freezer for a convenient, quick-cooking protein whenever needed. I have lots of “favorite” ways to cook salmon, but I rely on this tasty 4-ingredient option whenever time is tight. The frozen fillets thaw quickly, by the way, and are bursting with heart-healthy omega-3s.
I make hearty kale salads often and have some new recipes in the works. I love that, unlike traditional green salads, they hold up well as leftovers. The first day I’ll use them as part of our dinner, usually served simply with salmon or chicken. Leftovers make super convenient and satisfying lunches over the next few days. This protein-packed option is an old standby that is my take on a similar salad served at one of my favorite local restaurants.
So that’s a taste of the “old favorites” we’ve been eating lately. If you’d like to know our go-to breakfast recipes, I’m happy to share those, too! 🙂
Asparagus Storage and Prep:
- For best storage, place the bundle of asparagus in an inch or so of water (so that all of the spears ends are in the water) and lightly cover with the plastic deli bag or vented plastic wrap. You can use a wide-mouth glass or jar, a 1- or 2-cup Pyrex measuring glass, etc. Sometimes, I do this right in the deli bag. In this case, make sure there are no holes before adding a quarter cup or so of water. Place a rubber band over the bag and around the middle of the bundle, leaving the top of the bag open. Stand upright in the fridge where it won’t get knocked over.
- When ready to use, wash and pat dry. Then hold the bottom end of each asparagus spear with one hand. Place the other hand at the middle of the spear and bend to snap off the end at the natural breaking point. This will get rid of the tough, woody portion of the spear. Discard the ends.
- For a fancier presentation, especially when the spears are thick, you can peel the outer layer from the bottom half of the asparagus with a potato peeler.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 thin slices (about 1 ounce) prosciutto, roughly chopped or torn into small pieces
- Olive oil or olive oil mister
- 1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
In a large non-stick skillet (no need to oil it yet), sauté the prosciutto over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a plate.
Add just enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan (about 2 teaspoons; alternatively, you may spray with a mister), and add the asparagus. Raise the heat to medium-high, season the asparagus lightly with salt and pepper, and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the spears are crisp-tender. Precise cooking time will depend on thickness of spears.
In the last minute of two of cooking the asparagus, sprinkle it with the Parmesan, and stir to evenly coat. (You can add the Parmesan once the asparagus is fully cooked, but a brief sauté will allow it to brown in spots and develop a little extra flavor.) Add the reserved prosciutto, remove from the heat, and serve immediately.