Vetou’s Asparagus

Adapted from A Culinary Journey in Gascony, by Kate Hill.

origin: Recipe provided by Donna Yee -- Thanks Donna!

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 oz (approx 1 strip) bacon, pancetta, or ham, chopped
1 bunch fresh spring onions, bulbs only, trimmed and cut lengthwise into halves or quarters
1 bunch green garlic, tender lower portions of stalks only, trimmed and cut lengthwise into halves, then cut into 3-inch pieces
1 bunch asparagus, peeled or trimmed, then cut into 3-inch pieces
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine
(optional) 1 tablespoon butter
lemon wedges 


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon, pancetta, or ham, and cook briefly until soft. Add the onions and green garlic pieces, sautéing gently until half cooked. Do not allow the onions and garlic to brown much. Add the asparagus, mint leaf, thyme, salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cover the pan and cook slowly over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Check occasionally, and if necessary add a little water to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.

Uncover the pan, add the wine, and continue to cook until the asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork. Taste, and add more salt or pepper if desired. Remove the vegetables to a warm serving platter. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the liquid left in the pan to 2 or 3 tablespoons, then add the butter (optional). Pour the sauce over the vegetables. Serve hot with lemon wedges.