Green are the only fresh asparagus we find here, on the island. They come usually from the Peloponnese and are succulent, and wonderful. We like to briefly grill them on a stovetop griddle, on a non-stick pan, simply rubbed with olive oil and serve them sprinkled with some local, delicious finishing salt. I love the taste peppers impart to the olive oil, and whatever is fried with or after them, see this variation of the simply grilled-fried asparagus, as I combine them with sliced zucchini.
If you would like to make this a main course add some olive-oil-fried eggs.
Serves 4-5 as first course or side-dish
About 1/4 cup fruity olive oil, divided
1 pound thin asparagus trimmed –chop the hard base and freeze, to use in Green Pasta
2 medium red bell peppers, preferably long
2 medium zucchini cut in 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) slices
Finishing salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (optional)
Start by halving and seeding two medium red sweet peppers, preferably long. Cut in 1/4 inch strips and fry in the a smell skillet with the olive oil, until tender, and just starting to char. Remove with tongs and keep the strips warm on kitchen towel.
Add the pepper-oil to the larger skillet where you will grill/fry the asparagus and warm in medium-high heat. Lay the zucchini slices on the skillet, cover with parchment paper and a piece of aluminum foil. Lay a pot lid over to press the slices in place. Cook for about 5 minutes or a bit more, until brown spot form on the slices. Turn and cook on the other side; remove with tongs, spring with salt and keep warm.
Add the rest of the pepper oil to the skillet and lay the asparagus on it, turning to oil them on all sides. Cover with parchment paper and a piece of aluminum foil; lay a pot lid over, to press the slices in place. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or a bit more, and turn with tongs when brown spots form on the bottom side of the asparagus. Cover again and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until done.
Serve on a platter along with the zucchini and peppers, sprinkling with finishing salt and freshly ground pepper, and with fresh thyme, if you like.