Cast Iron Charred Lemon Garlic Asparagus, a simple, 10 minutes side dish, celebrating the best that Spring has to offer and one of my favorite cooking tools, my cast iron skillet!
If you couldn’t tell by now, I am more than a little bit obsessed with my cast iron skillet. That baby is ALWAYS on the stove, often with a nice layer of bacon fat, but always seasoned and ready to go.
Besides being super convenient, easy to clean and just a solid, dependable kitchen tool cast iron is also a healthier option. Choosing cast-iron pans is a great source of iron in your diet. Iron deficiency is a fairly common place issue worldwide, especially among women, some research shows 10% of American women are iron-deficient.
A study published in the July 1986 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that cooking in cast iron skillets added significant amounts of iron to 20 foods tested. For example, the researchers reported that the iron content of three ounces of applesauce increased from 0.35 mg to 7.3 mg and scrambled eggs increased from 1.49 mg to 4.76 mg of iron.1https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/healthy-home/cooking-with-cast-iron/
Additionally, cast iron is a great option in place of nonstick pans allowing you to avoid the harmful chemicals that are found in nonstick pans. The repellent coating that keeps food from sticking to nonstick pots and pans often contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical that’s linked to liver damage, cancer, developmental problems and, according to one 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, early menopause. PFCs get released—and inhaled—from nonstick pans in the form of fumes when pans are heated on high heat. Likewise, we can ingest them when the surface of the pan gets scratched. Both regular and ceramic-coated cast-iron pans are great alternatives to nonstick pans for this reason.
Ultimately I just love the way food that is cooked in cast iron tastes, I love the even cooking, I love a good charred veggie made on the stove top, I love the simple cleanup and I especially love the look of the final dish when served in cast iron.
This Charred Lemon Garlic Asparagus is no exception. Ready in just a few short minutes, it takes the place of your run of the mill oven roasted asparagus. It gets a nice char from the hot cast iron and it’s just a visually appealing to place that cast iron skillet on the dinner table. Roasting asparagus is a great way to amplify the flavor, vs steaming which can dilute it.
My favorite thing about this recipe is how quick and simple it is without skimping on any of the flavor. It makes for an amazing weeknight side, ready in under 10 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 2 tablespoons Terra Delyssa Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- lemon wedges for serving
- Rinse the asparagus in cold water and trim off tough ends of stalks. Heat the ghee and olive oil together in the cast iron skillet, over a medium heat. Add the asparagus to the pan, shaking the pan gently to coat the asparagus in the melted ghee and olive oil.
- Cover tightly and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Check the asparagus and turn as needed to make sure the stalks cook evenly and don't burn too much on one side. Uncover.
- Continue cooking 5 minutes longer uncovered, or until asparagus is tender but still crisp but still a nice bright green with a few blistered and burnt spots (Don't overcook). Add the garlic and lemon zest right at the end. Remove from the heat. Give it a toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
- Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
Add some toasted nuts or breadcrumbs at serving, for a little extra crunch.
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