Turn fresh asparagus into tasty, golden rafts with this playful recipe.
Hands-On Time: 1 hour
Ready In: 90 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
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*
2 tablespoons olive oil
- 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.
- 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.