From: Chef/partner John Ledbetter, Lark Creek Steak, San Francisco. Yield: 2 servings.
1 bunch California Asparagus
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Fill a 6 to 8-quart sauce pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Trim asparagus about 2-2½" from the bottom and discard bottom pieces. With a vegetable peeler, lightly peel bottom inch of asparagus until it turns white. Boil asparagus for about 2 minutes, then remove and shock in a bowl of ice water until cold. Pat dry on paper towel. Heat a large saute pan on high heat. Add olive oil and wait until oil lightly smokes. Add the asparagus and sear for about 1 minute on each side or until it's blistered. Season with salt and pepper and add the butter to the pan. Before the butter browns, add a couple of Tbsp. water to create a glaze and finish warming. Remove from pan and place neatly on large plate. Garnish with toasted macadamia nuts and serve.