March 28, 2013

A Tasty Twist On A Spring Veggie: Asparagus with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

Where have I been? That is an excellent question. I have been MIA...on vacation, dealing with a sick family, struggling with another birthday, being in a late-winter funk...all of the above. So I dropped the ball, as it were. But I am once again renewing my commitment to writing and this lovely little blog and will be focusing on things that take-up a great deal of my time, attention and love these days (besides my kids): food, books and workouts. For a little while, that's what you're going to find here. Then, I have about 20 half-written posts on other topics, including some super fun craftiness, that I will attend to...but first, yummy food.

So I just recently made this tasty, little side-dish-wonder, and, seriously, could not get enough of it. My husband and I ate the entire bunch of asparagus at dinner, it was so good. I highly recommend going for "the perfect bite" as often as you can with this one: a piece of asparagus, a cranberry, a pine nut or two and a little crumble of feta...Oh. So. Good. Ahhhhh... And what I really love about this one is that it's super easy, but restaurant-worthy impressive, so you can make it on any given Tuesday, or when the in-laws are visiting. Love that. So, without further ado, I give you:

Asparagus with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

1 bunch asparagus
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c. pine nuts
1/3 c. dried cranberries
pinch of coarse salt
1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese (I used reduced-fat feta)

Break off the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Chop the remaining spears in half and set aside. Heat the olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, cranberries and salt to the pan. Cook and stir 5-6 mins, until the pine nuts become fragrant and a bit translucent. Add asparagus spears and cook until bright green and tender, about 5-8 mins. (Don't over cook! You don't want mushy asparagus!) Serve asparagus with cranberries and pine nuts spooned overtop and topped with a sprinkling of feta crumbles. Enjoy! (Adapted from all recipes.com)

I served this with a black bean marinated pork tenderloin and egg noodles, but I think it can accompany a wide variety of dishes from chicken to fish to pork to beef...or tofu! Whatever floats your boat.

So that's today's recipe...I've got lots more to come.

Until next time, happy cooking!