Monday, July 11, 2022

Marinated Asparagus and a Book Review #LitHappens

Tender asparagus spears blanched and then marinated in a brown sugar/soy sauce combination is a perfect appetizer on it's own, as part of a charcuterie platter or as a delicious side dish with your dinner.

Marinated Asparagus

I was inspired to make this recipe after reading the novel Carnegie's Maid for our Lit Happens online book club.
Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting our July Lit Happens and invited us to join her in reading Carnegie's Maid, a historical fiction based on the life of Andrew Carnegie and his rise from rags to riches.  She is leading us in discussion all month long and you are welcome to read the novel and join us.  You can learn more on our Facebook page.  

Marinated Asparagus pin

This novel about the Carnegie family is told in the voice of a fictional maid, Clara Kelly, who upon arriving in America following a voyage from Ireland is mistaken for another Clara Kelly who perished at sea.  

Clara, seeing an opportunity to provide for her family, allows the deception and takes a position as a Lady's Maid for Mrs. Carnegie.  The novel is based on Andrew Carnegie's life and the author's imagination of what might have occurred had he formed a relationship with his mother's personal maid.

Clara was attending her mistress to a picnic in which she found the kitchen filled with "plates of fried chicken, beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce, deviled eggs of every imaginable variety, marinated asparagus, and peaches and cresam sponge cake".  Clara had never seen so much food in so much abundance and was stunned.  

The book was interesting as I knew very little about the Carnegie family.  I had to keep reminding myself that while some of the novel was based on their lives the relationships between Clara and the Carnegies was fictional.

We were attending an 4th of July celebration at Frank's sisters and I was bringing appetizers.  I remembered this lineup for a picnic and decided to make a marinated asparagus as one of the dishes to share.

They were a huge hit.  They will become a regular addition to our appetizer platters and buffets.  In fact, Frank's sister contacted me afterwards requesting the recipe.  I will also be sharing this recipe and review over at Foodies Read. Stop by and see what the others are reading and eating this month. 

Vegetables, Side Dishes, Appetizers, Asparagus
Vegetables, Side Dishes, Appetizers
Yield: 8 appetizer servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Marinated Asparagus

Marinated Asparagus

Tender asparagus spears blanched and then marinated in a brown sugar/soy sauce combination is a perfect appetizer on it's own, as part of a charcuterie platter or as a delicious side dish with your dinner.
Prep time: 3 MinCook time: 5 MinInactive time: 2 HourTotal time: 2 H & 8 M


  • 1 lb. asparagus spears (about 16 spears)
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Snap off woody ends of asparagus. Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for a minute or two, until bright green. Immediately rinse under cold water and place into a bowl of ice water. Set aside.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and garlic in a small saucepan over med high heat. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. When marinade has cooled to room temperature place it and the drained asparagus into a plastic bag that seals. Release the air and seal the bag so that all of the asparagus is covered.
  4. Place into the refrigerator for at least 2 hrs. and up to 2 days, to marinate. Remove asparagus from marinade to a serving platter, discarding any remaining marinade in the bag.


Adapted from a recipe found at Taste of Home

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