Recipe by swissms
Published in Cook's Illustrated, March-April 2007. The recipe recommends using asparagus that is at least 1/2-inch thick near the base. If using thinner spears, reduce the covered cooking to 3 minutes and the uncovered cooking time to 5 minutes. Do not use pencil thin asparagus; it cannot withstand the heat and overcooks too easily
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
- 1 large red onion, halved and sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 lbs thick asparagus spears
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8-10 minutes. using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from pan.
- Return skillet to medium-high heat and add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until edges darken and onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar and maple syrup; cook until liquids reduce and cling to onions, about 2 minutes. Transfer onions to bowl and cover with foil.
- Rinse skillet with water and dry well with paper towels.
- Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add half of asparagus to skillet with tips pointed in one direction; add remaining spears with tops pointed in opposite direction. Using tongs, distribute spears evenly; cover and cook until asparagus is bright green and still crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Uncover and increase heat to high; season with salt and pepper. Cook until spears are tender and well browned along one side, using tongs to occasionally move spears from center of pan to edge of pan to ensure all are browned, 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer asparagus to serving dish and top with onion; salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve immediately.