I was folding clothes this morning and watching the Cooking Channel (actually, Alice was watching the Cooking Channel, which is her favorite sort of television to watch, and I was just tagging along while I was doing domestic duty), and it was an old episode of Giada deLaurentis' Everyday Italian show. To be perfectly honest, I'm not hugely into Italian food. But one of the recipes she threw together was so pretty, I felt strangely drawn to it. And since I was going to be stopping by the grocery store after my IV iron infusion treatment this afternoon, I picked up the ingredients and made it at supper. It was even better-tasting than I thought, and I want you guys to try it because it was Just. That. Good.
Basically, I used the following ingredients:
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Thinly-sliced green onions (she used shallots, but the grocery store didn't have them, so I substituted a couple of bags of green onions and they were fine, just use any of the milder onions or leeks and it will probably be great)
Minced fresh garlic (one or two cloves at most)
Sliced or quartered mushrooms (button ones, baby-bellas, whatever's small and inexpensive) (I used one carton of pre-sliced ones because they were the same price as the non-sliced ones and I figured I'd save some of the work)
A small bunch of fresh basil, chiffonaded (she used tarragon because it was a Venetian-style recipe, but the grocery store I went to didn't have any fresh tarragon so I subbed in basil which I'm quite fond of)
Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper
A bunch of small asparagus spears, sliced into 1-inch sections
A container of grape tomatoes
(Giada also used some thawed frozen artichokes, but again, the grocery store didn't have them, so I left them out)
Shredded Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese to taste
Heat up the pan, then drizzle in some EVOO and toss in the thinly-sliced onions. Sweat them for about 30 seconds, then toss in the minced garlic. Turn the heat to medium so you don't burn or caramelize. Pitch in some sea salt and black pepper, and toss this around for a few minutes.
Next, toss in the mushrooms and sautee them for a little while until the EVOO is absorbed. Then add some more EVOO in and pitch in the asparagus spears. Toss this mixture for a while until the asparagus starts to tender up just a wee bit. Add more sea salt and black pepper, and toss in the chiffonaded basil.
After this has sweated down a teeny bit (about three to five minutes at most), pitch in the grape tomatoes and toss them for no more than about a minute. You don't want to complete liquify the tomatoes, just warm them through a little. Sprinkle a teeny bit of finely-shredded Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese and serve immediately.
Giada actually made a dressing out of tarragon, white wine vinegar and EVOO to drizzle over the top, and I would've loved this, but my kids aren't fond of vinegary foods, even if they're mild, so I opted out.
The dish is extremely beautiful-looking and tastes out-of-this-world good. I'd've taken a picture of it, but it disappeared so fast I didn't have a chance. I think the aroma of the onions and garlic were so pervasive that the kids just inhaled it faster than I expected. And it's totally good for them. But don't tell them I said that.