Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

One glance at this gorgeous spring vegetable stir-fry is all it takes to create that "gotta have it" mantra. Sizzling away in the skillet, the asparagus looks so happy, you'd swear it was laughing! It's an ideal vegetable dish for Easter or Passover celebrations and pairs well with almost any menu. Asparagus is one of the flavor jewels of the spring vegetable garden. And they're the verdant gems of the skillet in this irresistibly delicious, briefly sautéed side dish. If you have all the vegetables prepared in advance, you can pop the asparagus into the skillet about 5 minutes before serving--that's how quick and easy it is.

Laughing Asparagus

Laughing Asparagus

Yield: 4 servings

    2 tablespoons water
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1 pound fresh asparagus, cut in half, tough ends discarded
    1/2 onion, cut into half moons
    1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch julienne
    1/2 Roma tomato, diced

    1/2 bunch fresh spinach (about 4 ounces), coarsely chopped, stems trimmed

    1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    Salt and pepper
    1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

  1. Combine the water, olive oil, and garlic in a large skillet over high heat. Cook and stir for 1 minute, or until the garlic begins to sizzle and release its fragrance.
  2. Add the asparagus, onion, bell pepper, and tomato and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the asparagus turns bright green and begins to soften.
  3. Add the spinach and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until it has wilted. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to an attractive dish. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

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Vegetarians in Paradise