Asparagus, Pancetta, Grape Tomatoes and Young Garlic with Rice

My love affair with in-season asparagus continues with tonight’s dinner. At this time of the year, the farmers’ market that we go to every Saturday is abound with asparagus that is piled so high you can barely see the vendor standing behind it. With asparagus so fresh, plentiful and cheap, it is no wonder we walk away with bunches of it in our shopping bag every week. And this will continue until asparagus season ends.

 Tonight’s dinner is a stir-fry of asparagus, pancetta, halved grape tomatoes and young garlic (also in-season right now). Pancetta is not an ingredient commonly used in our kitchen, and I only added it to the stir-fry because I had a slab in my freezer that needed using up. The rendered fat gave a lot of flavour to the rice and that may explain why dinner was such a big hit with everyone. My son inhaled it – no surprises there since he is the biggest meat lover I know.

I left the pancetta in fairly large cubes to make it easy for my self-proclaimed vegetarian daughter to fish them out. Sometimes, I seriously wonder whether my actions encourage my children’s pickiness with food. But on most days, I simply give myself a pat on my back for coming up with ways to maintain peace and sanity at our dinner table.

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