We have had Asparagus Ragout for supper repeatedly in recent weeks. We visited the Provincetown Farmers Market on a recent trip to our favorite spot on the tip of the Cape and bought a bunch of asparagus from Silverbrook Farm. We didn't want to turn on the oven in our rental apartment to roast it, so Penny remembered a Jacques Pepin cooking technique for cooking fresh vegetables in a little water and a bit of butter. We both loved the result.
After returning home, we located a Jacques Pepin video with instructions for what he calls Asparagus Ragout. (This dish is first up on this the program.)
Via Wikipedia we found this about Ragout, "The term comes from the French ragoûter, meaning: 'to revive the taste." The Italian ragù (the word being borrowed from French) is a sauce such as Ragù Napoletano used typically to dress pasta."
While this farm fresh asparagus did not need reviving, this method of cooking it certainly results in great flavor complete with a light sauce. (Naturally, Ed selected his favorite utensil – a slice of fresh bread – and sopped up every drop of the sauce remaining on his plate.)
When we returned to Boston, we bought more asparagus at the Atlas Farm stand at the Copley Square Farmers Market and had a second supper of lovely, local asparagus.
We do peel the stalks and this time we had watched the video and followed Jacques' method. If you have the time, you can make an asparagus soup from the trimmings.
We highly recommend this quick and easy cooking method for many of the fresh, local vegetable you'll be gathering at local markets this summer.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2018 Penny & Ed Cherubino