This is a lovely side dish to serve this weekend, when the warm weather is in full swing & local asparagus is still abundant!
Seared Asparagus with Orange & Marsala Reduction
1 salt slab (plate or brick)
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus spears
1 T shallot, sliced thin
2 T fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 T butter
1 T marsala cooking wine
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1) Preheat salt slab on gas cooktop, 10 minutes each side.
2) While salt is preheating, melt butter in small saucepan and add shallots. Cook for 1 minute. Add orange juice and marsala wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to half. Stir in pepper.
3) Oil the cooking surface of salt slab with olive oil. Arrange asparagus across the top and sear, turning occassionally as needed to ensure even cooking. Remove from slab when done and re-oil before searing more asparagus.
4) Pour heated orange and marsala reduction over asparagus and serve.