Asparagus with Citrus and Oregano Print Email

2 oranges, preferably navel
6 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBS. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 scallions, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
16 stalks large green asparagus (about 1 lb.)

Zest 1 of the oranges; set zest aside. Slice off the ends of each orange. Working with one orange at a time, set an orange on end; with a small knife, slice off and discard the peel and the white pith. Holding the orange in your hand, use a knife to cut the orange segments away from their membranes (see Three Chef's Techniques.) Place segments in a bowl and set aside. Over a separate bowl, squeeze the remaining orange pulp to extract any remaining juice. Repeat with second orange. Whisk 4 TBS oil, lemon juice, oregano, and scallions into orange juice and season with salt and pepper; set dressing aside.

Cut off about 1" from the tough end of the asparagus and transfer asparagus to a 9" x 13" microwavable baking dish. Sprinkle asparagus with reserved orange zest and drizzle with remaining oil and 1/4 cup water. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high heat for 2 minutes. Rotate dish and microwave until asparagus is just tender, about 2 minutes more. Uncover and drain off cooking liquid. Toss asparagus with reserved citrus dressing and season with salt. Top with orange segments. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

From Chef Andrew Carmellini’s book Urban Italian, Saveur Issue #119

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