Browsing through Smitten Kitchen’s Spring recipes, I stumbled up this. It struck me as very odd at first, but I like chorizo with beans, and I like asparagus, and croutons, and as Joey said in one memorable Thanksgiving “Friends” episode when Rachel misread her recipe and added ground beef to her trifle, “Jam? Good. Beef? Goooood” (or something along those lines). So we can all sometimes appreciate unexpected pairings. I’m going to give this a try since I already have chorizo and I keep buying asparagus at the Farmer’s Market.
1 pound large, thick, firm asparagus, lower third of the stalks peeled with a vegetable peeler or snapped off
1/4 cup good olive oil
4 ounces Spanish chorizo (but Portuguese chouriço will work as well), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups 3/4-inch bread cubes (croutons), preferably from a baguette or country bread loaf
1/4 cup whole almonds
1 cup cooked beans (optional; I used 3/4 pound fresh cranberry beans, shucked then boiled for 20 minutes in lightly salted water)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make this right as you are ready to eat. Cut each asparagus stalk into 3 or 4 pieces. Heat the oil in a large skillet until very hot. Add all the ingredients except the beans, if using, and salt and pepper. Cover and sauté over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes (thinner asparagus might be done sooner), tossing or stirring the mixture a few times, so it browns and cooks on all sides. Add the beans, if using, and salt and pepper, toss again, and serve.