Asparagus With Pancetta and Radish

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Pancetta is especially good with asparagus and gives the succulent spears a salty, crispy crunch. Here, they’re topped with chopped red radishes for a pop of color and a squeeze of fresh lemon and grated zest for oomph. From Beth Dooley.

• 1/2 c. chopped red radish

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 to 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, to taste

• 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest

• 4 thin slices (about 2 oz.) pancetta, roughly chopped or torn into small pieces

• 2 to 2 1/2 lb. asparagus

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a small bowl, toss together the radish, oil, lemon juice and zest, and set aside.

Cook the pancetta in a skillet over medium-high heat, turning often, until crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Chop and set aside.

Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Snap off any woody ends from the asparagus spears and lower into the water. Cook until just tender enough to bend, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Watch that they turn a bright green.) Drain and pat dry with a clean dish towel.

Arrange the asparagus on individual serving plates or a large platter. Garnish the asparagus with the radishes and dressing, then the pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 52

Fat 3 g

Sodium 125 mg

Carbohydrates 4 g

Saturated fat 1 g

Total sugars 1 g

Protein 3 g

Cholesterol 3 mg

Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ fat.