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open says me

When one of my two brilliant children was young, he or she thought that when someone said, “Open Sesame” they were saying, “Open Says Me.”  I won’t reveal which one of them it was, but how cute is that?!

Open Sesame is the magical phrase in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and it opens the mouth of a cave in which forty thieves have hidden treasure.

This asparagus recipe is magical and your brain will be telling your mouth, “Open Says Me” when you make it!

This was one of the recipes this past Wednesday night at the first of my 3-week series of classes at Les Gourmettes. That’s why you’ll see a photo of several plates lined up. They were still awaiting the chicken and polenta… a recipe I’ll post in a day or so.  The asparagus and accompanying mayo were a big hit. And… it’s “easy breezy” to boot!

Asparagus with Toasted Sesame Mayonnaise

2 pounds medium to thick asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off
1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds *
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Radicchio or small red cabbage leaves, for serving
Additional toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Set up an ice bath in a large bowl.

Steam the asparagus in a covered steamer over boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove with tongs and transfer to the ice bath for 1 minute. Drain on paper towels at room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame seeds, ginger, and garlic until smooth.

To serve: Spoon the mayonnaise into small cabbage or radicchio leaves and then garnish with toasted sesame seeds and place next to the asparagus on the plate for dipping.

Serves 6 to 8

The asparagus can be cooked up to 1 day in advance, wrapped and paper towels, placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated. The mayonnaise will keep for up to 10 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Bring both to room temperature for serving.

* To toast sesame seeds:  Place the seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat and toss constantly until they are lightly browned about 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer the seeds to a bowl. If left in the pan, they will continue to cook and will quickly burn.

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1 Marissa { 11.17.12 at 1:40 PM }

Hmmm which child could that have been?

2 Connor { 11.17.12 at 7:27 PM }

It was stupid Marissa, not the brilliant boy-cheese ordering Connor.

3 Linda Hopkins { 11.17.12 at 7:34 PM }

OH! How I remember that sweet day! The three of us and Grandma Hopkins were at the now-defunct Ed Debevics at Town & Country. Little Connor was pointing to the menu to show the waitress what he wanted and she said, “Oh you want a grilled cheese sandwich?” and he said, “No, I want a boy cheese sandwich, not a girl cheese sandwich!” A-DOR-ABLE! 🙂 xoxo

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