Asparagus Rafts

Turn fresh asparagus into tasty, golden rafts with this playful recipe.

Hands-On Time: 1 hour
Ready In: 90 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    1/4 cup bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 large egg, beaten with a fork
    16 small to medium asparagus stalks, trimmed and cooked*
    Toothpicks
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Salt (optional)


Directions

  1. Measure out bread crumbs, cheese, and thyme into a large shallow bowl. Put flour on a plate. Put egg into a wide shallow bowl. Line up 4 asparagus stalks side by side on a cutting board. Skewer 4 toothpicks into the set of 4 stalks at about 1-inch intervals to hold asparagus together like a raft. Repeat with remaining asparagus.
  2. Dip each asparagus raft in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, patting crumbs evenly, and transfer to a plate. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil until just hot, then gently slide in asparagus rafts and cook over medium heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn rafts over and cook other side until golden, about 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with salt if you want. Slice each raft crosswise between the toothpicks, then remove sticks.

* How to cook it: Boil asparagus in salted water until the stalks are just tender, about 4 minutes, then chill them.

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