Orange-Balsamic Asparagus ~ U CAN DO IT!

Relax. Breath deep. Its not...that hard. This will make 1 to 2 pounds of Asparagus. 2 pounds of the 'pencil' like Asparagus is what we suggest. If its much thicker than it will be longer to blanch them.

First get two pots and a bowl. In the one pot fill it half with water and then add salt to it till it tastes salty (salty like ocean water). Fill the other pot with one cup sugar (just plain white sugar) and the same amount of Balsamic Vinegar. Fill the bowl (or container) with ice then add cold water to it.

Heat the water to a boil. Heat the sugar balsamic mixture till the sugar can no longer be seen or felt as a texture, basically make sure its all melted in.
Please trim all your Asparagus accordingly, nobody likes chewing on a raw, tree like substance.

Throw all the trimmed Asparagus into the boiling water. If you are using the 'pencil' size (or a little bit bigger) leave it in no longer than 30 to 45 seconds. Asparagus should look nice and green, not dull. Immediately throw it in the ice water.Meanwhile (or even ahead of time) zest one orange.
After zesting one orange, lets look at these two brands of orange oil. We pick these up at Whole Foods, Central Market, and/or check your local grocery store...they have become a lot more accommodating lately. We will be adding the zest of one orange and about a half teaspoon of pure orange oil to our balsamic (syrup). If you can not find the oil, then juice the orange you zested and add it to the syrup BUT, the orange flavor may not be as great!
Notice we are simultaneously cooling down the balsamic (syrup) mixture on a bowl of ice while whisking the liquid. This should be the consistency of cheap pancake syrup. (or make this ahead of time and let it cool in the fridge.)

Drain the Asparagus thoroughly then pour the (now cool or room temperature) orange-balsamic syrup over the asparagus. ( we have actually only used a few Asparagus that we needed for a client tasting). Your 1 or 2 pounds of Asparagus will be a lot more than this. You can also use a plastic bag and/or Ziploc container for letting this marinate over night. But steel is fine because its non-reactive

Let this sit over night in your refrigerator, drain thoroughly and serve cool to room temperature.

Everything can be done in stages. It does not have to be at the same time. Make the syrup and then just keep it in the fridge. Blanch the Asparagus ahead or after, just don't keep the Asparagus for over a day before starting to marinate it.

Serve that at your next party! Use an orange or blood orange half cut fancy in the middle of a platter with the Asparagus spears fanned out from it, with a little zest sprinkled on top. Or just stack it up on your favorite (any shape) plate or platter.

We use this in meals as a vegetable dish, salad, and/or mostly an appetizer.