Monday, November 17, 2008

Local Asparagus with Panko, Pinenuts & Capers

Although it isn't Asparagus season in most places, a little stand at the Farmer's Market was carrying it last weekend. To be honest I didn't know they grew asparagus in the islands but it looked good (although a bit thinner than regular asparagus), so I bought a bunch.

The other night at a wine tasting/pairing (I swear I will write about them some day), I had a piece of seared ahi with a topping of bread crumbs pine nuts, capers and a few other ingredients. While I plan to recreate it over fish sometime, I also thought that a similar blend of ingredients would be a fun and delicious way to top asparagus.

Asparagus with Panko, Pine Nuts and Capers
1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
2 Tbsp pine nuts
olive oil
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp capers
zest of 1 lemon
black pepper
juice from 1 lemon
Lightly steam asparagus in your preferred method (I do mine in the microwave steamer). Meanwhile toast pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat, tossing frequently until lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside. Put olive oil in pan and stir in panko and capers, lemon juice and peppers, cooking over medium heat until panko is lightly brown and crunchy. Place asparagus in serving dish, squeeze lightly with lemon and salt lightly. Spread panko mixture over asparagus and serve.

Results: Delicious! The slightly crunchy crumbs and pine nuts really add a lot to the asparagus without the heavy feeling you get from a sauce. The lemon and capers also compliment it very nicely. A simple, quick recipe that I would make again as well as use on beans, or other vegetables.


  1. I love the thin ones, they are so tender and delicate. Great mix of flavours, I love the crunchy element.

  2. sounds so good, love the combination.

  3. This looks like a fabulous way to prepare asparagus! I a little envious that you can still find those pretty little spears in paradise! The thin ones make for a really pretty presentation!

  4. That looks so delicious! I love asparagus, especially the thin spears :) That topping sounds really delicious, I like the idea added crunch. Will have to try it this way next time I find asparagus that looks halfway decent (a rarity until spring).

  5. Mmm...anything with capers sounds good to me! I like the idea of using something light to top it instead of laden with butter after all the eating I've been doing lately! Apparently, asparagus is a year-round crop here, or so says Greg from Blue Lotus Farms - is that where you got yours? I'm still not sure I believe it!!

  6. Natashya--the crunch is my favorite part (oh and the capers!)

    Kat--thanks--it seems to work well!

    Cathy--thanks! its nice to be able to have it throughout the year--we are lucky.

    Andrea--hope you like it. i think the topping would be good on other veggies too.

    Michelle--it was from there. I hadn't really seen it before either but if its all year round I am happy!


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