Slender stalks of local asparagus are appearing at Greenmarket stands like Bodhitree Farm and Cherry Lane Farms and on restaurant menus everywhere. Try them in this recipe, courtesy of Veuve Clicquot executive turned author Mireille Guiliano, who has parlayed her chic heritage into a cottage diet-book industry (the latest: The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook). But don’t get the wrong idea—with butter, a drizzle of hazelnut oil, and a dressing made from creamy strained yogurt (a Guiliano staple), there’s nothing dietetic about it.
Mireille Guiliano’s Asparagus With Yogurt Dressing
1 pound asparagus
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup 2 percent Greek-style yogurt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs. hazelnut oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (1) Trim the asparagus spears, and blanch them for 1 minute. Drain and reserve 4 spears. (2) Shock the remaining asparagus in a bowl of ice water. When chilled, drain and pat dry. Finely chop the reserved 4 spears, and place in a medium bowl. Add the basil and yogurt, and stir to combine. Season to taste, and reserve. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the blanched asparagus and sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Season to taste, drizzle with hazelnut oil, and place in a serving dish. (3) Spoon the yogurt dressing over the asparagus, and serve immediately. Adapted from The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook, by Mireille Guiliano (Atria; $24.99).