Here, an Asian-inspired marinade brings a balance of sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy to blanched asparagus.
YIELD: SERVES 4
3 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
⅓ cup rice vinegar
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. agave nectar or honey
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
1 Thai bird chile, seeded and thinly sliced for garnish, optional
pinch of cayanne, or to taste

  1. Cook asparagus in pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes. Drain, and plunge into bowl filled with ice water.
  2. Whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger, agave nectar, and cayenne. Pour over asparagus in large baking dish, adding water, if necessary, to submerge asparagus. Cover, and chill 4 hours, or overnight.
  3. Drain off marinade, and arrange asparagus on plates or serving platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chile slices, if using.

NUTRITION INFORMATION
Calories: 76
Protein: 5 g
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 303 mg
Fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 3 g