The most interesting dishes are often created from bits and pieces from the fridge that need to be eaten. I had some lovely asparagus and “pink” oranges and my thought was to make a warm salad. I could imagine the slightly crispy asparagus coated with an orange sauce and tossed with freshly sliced pieces of orange. I also had lemon, but the orange flavor was calling to me.
I did a quick online search to see what other cooks had done in the orange/asparagus realm. Not so much, unless you count those that also added chicken. I already had a protein dish planned for dinner so chicken wasn’t necessary. I wanted a side dish so I combined a few ideas and created a new salad.
I snapped the stems off the asparagus, rinsed them and cut them into 1″ pieces. Most of the recipes I’d seen used the full length pieces of asparagus but I don’t care for that. I don’t like to cut up a whole bunch of pieces as I eat, I want them bite-sized. My P.S. and I disagree on that but I win. I’m the one that’s cooking!
I put a drizzle of olive oil into a medium-sized nonstick skillet and set it on medium high heat. When the pan was heated I added the asparagus with a good sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
After several minutes of frying I added a teaspoon of a minced garlic and ginger I buy in a jar. I stirred well then added a couple of tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate I keep in the freezer for uses such as this.
I let the asparagus simmer while I cut the orange rind off the orange and cut it into slices. I set it aside.
When the asparagus was still a little al dente, I removed it from the skillet with a slotted spoon and placed it into a bowl. I let the orange juice reduce down and thicken in the skillet for several more minutes then poured it over the asparagus.
I tossed the orange pieces into the bowl with the asparagus and served it up in two bowls. It looked great and smelled heavenly.
The flavor results? Super delicious! We loved the orange flavor mixed with the mild flavor of the asparagus. The “pink” orange was similar in color to that of a grapefruit but definitely tasted more like an orange. It melded well with asparagus. The touch of garlic and ginger tied it all together nicely. It was a fun warm side salad.
I’m looking forward to spring when asparagus makes more of an appearance in the grocery stores. It’s such a versatile vegetable and although tasty on its own, it does go well with many other flavors.
Warm Orange and Asparagus Salad
Freshly sliced orange with crispy stir-fried asparagus seasoned with garlic and ginger is a winning flavor combination!
- 1 lb asparagus; ends snapped, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 orange; peel cut and orange sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic and ginger
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-sized nonstick skillet add a drizzle of oil and heat over medium high heat. Add asparagus and saute for several minutes.
Add minced garlic and ginger and stir. Cook for several more minutes. Add orange juice concentrate and let simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
Cut ends off an orange and cut down sides to remove rind. Cut into slices. Set aside.
When asparagus is just al dente, remove from skillet with slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Continue to simmer juice in skillet until thickened and reduced. Pour over asparagus.
Add orange slices to bowl and toss. Serve warm in bowls as a side salad.