Skillet Roasted Asparagus with Sesame-Soy Gastrique

I love asparagus. It’s great when treated with proper, tender and loving care… OR whacked up and roasted in a pan with butter. None of my vikings young or old favor this odd looking vegetable. As hard as I tried to get my brats on board, no one budged. Come on dude they look like spears! *stab stab* {no … Mama it smells.}

And that was the end of that. So whenever I make asparagus I usually roast it, this time I went with a slightly more fancy pants-ish approach. Delightfully sliced into perfect little coins and pan fried with garlic scapes and a good gob of butter add to that a sweet, salty and sour gastrique with nutty and aromatic toasted sesame oil and huzzah! You have pure greatness. This asparagus is fabulous if I do say so myself… and I do. 
Asparagus Officinalis: {A-Spare-a-Giss}
Asparagus is a spring vegetable that is a flowering perennial. Found in a variety of colors, the rich green hued spears are the best of the best. Known as a “cleansing and healing” veggie, asparagus is a great way to get potassium, vitamins A, K and C, and of course antioxidants. A powerful, lean, mean green veggie asparagus is also a great source of folate and iron which is in over the counter pre-natal vitamins. Critical for growth, essential especially if you do not consume animal products. Whenever possible whole foods are the best way to consume your nutrients as the body processes it much more effectively. Folate and Iron are said to enhance mood, maintain blood sugar levels and help with head aches. 

PS- It tastes awesome too.
Skillet Roasted Asparagus & Garlic Scapes
2 pounds of asparagus
1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes, or ( 2-3 cloves of garlic minced)
3 tablespoons of butter
Salt and Pepper
Take one spear of asparagus and gently bend it until it snaps. Use the snapping point to align with the remaining spears and cut off the short and dense ends. Discard the hard stalk and cut asparagus into thin coins. The spears will be approximately 1 to 2 inches and can remain whole. Chop garlic scapes into 1″ pieces or mince whole, peeled garlic cloves. 
Heat skillet (preferably cast iron, a regular pan will work but it will not retain the heat as well) over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and add asparagus and garlic scapes. Reduce heat to medium. Saute’ until mostly tender about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat. A cast iron skillet will retain heat and continue to cook the asparagus the remainder of the way. Add butter, and salt and pepper  to taste. Allow to rest for a few minutes. Remove from pan and prepare gastrique. 

Sesame-Soy Gastrique (sauce)
2 tablespoons tamari, or soy sauce substitute such as Bragg or Coconut Aminos
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons honey, to taste (optional, see note)
-Fresh Grated Ginger, Red Pepper Flakes, 2-3 whole cloves peeled garlic
-toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Place tamari, balsamic, sesame oil and honey into the skillet, bring to a boil until thickened and caramelized. Add ginger and red pepper flakes to taste. Toss asparagus and garlic scapes into this, if using garnish with toasted sesame seeds. 
Note: The classic definition of gastrique refers to caramelized sugar that is deglazed with vinegar, although there is no sugar or very much vinegar in this recipe it fulfills the sweet and sour profile. Use high quality unrefined sugar in place of honey, or don’t.