Friday, May 14, 2010

asparagus beef roll-ups

hello. my name is dana and i'm an addict.

some while back i noticed a cookbook called 'vegetables for vitality' on a friend's shelf. i thumbed through it, all the while telling my friend how my vegetables are so lame, how my range is so limited because with us it's always about the protein, veggies are most often side dishes, stuff i don't pay much attention to. i decide then and there i must cook more vegetables. i must try new stuff. i must make more salads. she very kindly lends me the book, to assist me in my new resolution. i promise to return it soon. i'm pretty sure that was happening almost a year ago. i cannot return books. that's why i seldom borrow them from the library, it's always so hard to give them back. i love the content, sure, but i also love the book itself, the idea of the book. and cookbooks are a great weakness of mine. i love the new, glossy one with pretty pictures, just as much as i cherish julia child's black-and-white, or my grandma's old notebook. so i guess what i'm trying to say, dear friend, is that i'll keep dodging you until you forget it's me you lent it to. (and don't think you can hold the rushdie i gave you hostage because seriously i will climb up your balcony at night and break it free).

in my defense, i have been cooking quite a lot from it. i have eaten more vegetables. in fact, this whole week i've been perfectly content with tomatoes and feta as dinner, or radishes and cucumbers with goat cheese. not even a dressing on them. really. and after a row of simple snacks like that, this thing tasted like ambrosia.
with some prep work done ahead of time, this plate can hit the table in ten minutes. plenty to get addicted to.

asparagus beef roll-ups
adapted from vegetables for vitality, the reader's digest, 2004

1 lb sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch scallions
1 tb olive oil
3 tb teriyaki sauce
1 tb sesame seeds, lighlty toasted

cut the beef so you have rectangles 1 inch wide and 3 inches long. pound them so they're very thin, about 1/8 inch. season with salt and pepper. cut the asparagus in 3 inch long pieces. i like to use only the tips for this. reserve the rest for another use. trim the green part of the scallions to the same size. reserve the white part for another use. blanch the asparagus for one minute. meaning, throw them in boiling water, and after one minute drain and plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking. do not overcook. take 3 asparagus tips and 1 scallion piece and form a bundle. roll beef around middle of veggies. at this point you can refrigerate the whole deal for a couple hours, but be sure to let it come back to room temp before cooking.

heat the oil and sear the beef on all sides, on high heat, about 3-4 minutes. add the teriyaki sauce, lower the heat to medium, and cook 2 more minutes, shaking the pan to get everything glazed. plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds. (this is also when you'd sprinkle some chopped cilantro, if you were so inclined). spoon pan juices all over.
in case anybody cares, the stuff underneath is lemon thyme orzo, which also cooks up in ten minutes and goes with it like a baby with his mama. it has a subtle flavor, with no acidic background because only the zest is used. there's also a bit of parmesan added at the end, which makes it creamy and risotto-like. it soaks up the pan juices and becomes an impossibly delicious sidekick. that's all, folks. eat asparagus roll-ups and don't lend me your books.


  1. Yum! Look at those tender asparagus spears! And the juicy steak! But more importantly, ha! as if anyone cares indeed, look at that gorgeous, creamy orzo! I've been reading about orzo on Sally's blog, Bewitching Kitchen, and have just started cooking it. Yours looks perfect!

  2. Mouthwatering roll-ups. Looking really good!

  3. wow this looks really delicious. Sounds like you 'borrowed' a great cookbook :)

  4. wow ce delicios!! super buu arata

  5. quelle délicieuse recette elle me donne envie de repasser à table
    bonne journée

  6. Imi place atat de mult sparanghelul, cu un sos olandez sau doar in vinegreta!

  7. A facut nevasta mea o reteta inspirata din aceasta. Un deliciu!

  8. hi friends! sorry i wasn't around to reply sooner, i had a busy couple of days. thanks a lot everybody for your comments!

    celia, you should know my daughter loves, loves the orzo. i make it into a main dish by adding soybeans, corn and red peppers, sometimes chicken or shrimp. she loves anything lemony, so this is one of her faves.

    andrei, ma bucur teribil ca ai gasit inspiratie aici. multumesc frumos!

  9. That looks so dainty and appealing. Every part looks perfect!

  10. Queste foto sono bellissime e il gusto..squisito ! :)

  11. chfg, thanks so much!

    stefania, molto grazie.

  12. yum! oh my goodness! this looks delish! i totally thought the orzo was risotto at first, which also might taste good :)

  13. kelsey, welcome! i'm glad you like this, thanks a lot!


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