As a result of this Crumbled Bacon Asparagus recipe, I can now spell asparagus without having to sound it out. Mostly. Also, I settled an age-old dilemma. Do I like asparagus or not? Mom used to buy the mushy stuff in a can, forever ruining my ability to appreciate the vegetable.
Today’s recipe is proof asparagus gets a super-bad rap. In fact, it’s delicious, that is, when it isn’t straight from a can and almost in liquid form. Nope, we’re ditching mush in favor of sautéed vegetables with bacon, pepper, and optional herbs. We’re taking the flavor up a notch with coconut oil and, if desired, a little bacon fat.
I ended up making this more than once to decide sautéing times, and I was not the least bit sad about that. Because the success of this recipe rests on two factors:
- Crispy, crunchy bacon
- Sautéed, but not mushy, greens
We will master the asparagus, Spiriteds, and we will not rely on a can to do this. Crumbled Bacon Asparagus is delicious, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and everything a side dish should be. What makes it paleo-friendly? Choose your favorite brand of bacon with as few ingredients as possible (or specifically labeled “paleo”), and add it to the mix. We purchase from a local farmer through our grocery store, and love the flavor.
As for the asparagus, I buy mine at Aldi within a few days of when I want to make Crumbled Bacon Asparagus. The key to the asparagus is to sauté only as long as absolutely necessary. For me, that was in the neighborhood of 7-9 minutes per batch. I say “per batch” because when I prepare this, I lay the asparagus stalks in the pan side-by-side without overlapping. Inevitably, I can’t get all stalks in the pan at once. But the short baking time per batch means this part of the process still moves along rather quickly.
I also used two pans to see if sautéing times varied. They did. In my deep sauté pan, the baking time was closer to seven minutes, whereas my standard skillet required nine minutes. This surprised me because usually it’s the other way around. Suffice it to say, sauté with care and don’t walk away from the pan for too long.
Now, when we’re taking bacon, you can’t go wrong. Just, whatever, bacon is bacon. Delicious, low maintenance, perfect. I fry the bacon to a crisp, like, as in, almost burned. This makes for easier crumbling and prevents Crumbled Bacon Asparagus from being chewy. The crispy bacon is also the perfect complement to the softened (but not mushy) asparagus.
During this stage, I also start to think about variations. Because I’m insane, I sometimes drizzle a little bacon grease on the finished product. I blame Texas-Style Maple Bacon Muffins for that one. Nine months it took to perfect those muffins, and the secret was two pounds of bacon and a little grease. If you choose to add a second pound of bacon to your Crumbled Bacon Asparagus, I can’t comment on the health benefits, but I can say your tastebuds will have never loved you more.
Another insane variation involves scooping up the garlic and coconut oil mixture from the sauté pan, adding a tablespoon of dried parsley flakes to the mixture, and then drizzling that over your finished Crumbled Bacon Asparagus product. Again, I can’t say for sure what the health benefits are, especially since I add a little extra melted coconut oil for good measure, but also again, I can say your tastebuds will be wowed. I do what I can. Crumbled Bacon Asparagus is almost like satire, if a food can be satirical. Like, we’re definitely going the vegetable route, but we’re throwing bacon and grease and extra coconut oil on it because we can.
I like to splurge every now and then, especially when I’m cooking with bacon. And since side dishes stress me out (HOW MUCH SHOULD I MAKE??? WHO WILL WANT ANY? WHAT IS THE MAIN COURSE? AM I SUPPOSED TO COMPLEMENT SAID MAIN COURSE??? WHY ARE THESE THINGS HARD?), I destress by crunching on bacon while attempting to live my best life.
If you are #same, then this is your dish. Crumbled Bacon Asparagus really just might be the dark horse of culinary satire. Or maybe it’s just really delicious, and that’s good enough.
- 2 bunches fresh asparagus
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pound bacon, crispy-fried
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, optional
- Coarse ground black pepper for garnishing
- In a large skillet or sauté pan, combine melted coconut oil, sea salt, and pressed garlic. Add asparagus stalks, one-by-one, to pan making sure not to overlap. Sauté for approximately 7-9 minutes or until asparagus turns a deep green and softens but isn't mushy. Remove stalks, cut into halves or thirds, set aside in a medium-sized serving bowl, and repeat process until all stalks are sautéed. Add additional coconut oil and pressed garlic to the sauté pan, as desired, for remaining batches.
- In a separate skillet, fry bacon to a crispy consistency. Set aside and pat with paper towels or napkins to remove excess grease.
- Crumble bacon over asparagus in serving bowl and garnish with black pepper. If desired, scoop sautéed garlic mixture from pan into a small dish, add one tablespoon of coconut oil, and one tablespoon dried parsley flakes. Stir evenly and drizzle over Crumbled Bacon Asparagus.