Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Asparagus ...

Phew, I'm back online and can finally share that recipe for roasted asparagus that I promised last week.

Normally, I'm in favor of eating seasonally, and locally, as much as possible. But the thing is ... I really like asparagus - and the husband does too. Enough so that I'm willing to break a few of my own rules and eat it off-season. That being said, the thick woody clubs that are available now bear no resemblance to those lovely, pencil thin, stalks of spring. My solution? Fire up the oven and get roasting!

Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts and Parmesan:
  • one bunch of fresh asparagus
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • some chopped walnuts and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and trim the asparagus, snapping or cutting off the tough ends of each stalk. Place the asparagus in a single layer on a large, rimmed cookie sheet and drizzle with some of the olive oil, rolling them around to coat. I probably used about a tablespoon of oil, but didn't measure. Sprinkle the stalks with some Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast in the middle of a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender and slightly caramelized.

Transfer the roasted aspargus to a plate and top with the chopped walnuts and Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is mainly about technique. I've adapted it from one in The Food and Wine Lover's Diet that called for hazelnuts and Pecorino Romano. Don't have any walnuts on hand? Feel free to use some almonds or pecans instead. Got a chunk of Grana Padano hanging out in your fridge? Go ahead and use that in place of the Parm. Its all good. I mean its really, really good! Roasting brings out the subtle nutty flavor that you never knew was tucked inside those springy stalks.

For my money, roasting is the perfect (and maybe only way) to treat winter asparagus. It was so good we finished an entire bunch between the two of us. I hope you'll try it!

So, what's your favorite roasted veg? Curious Diva wants to know.

Bon appetite!


Anonymous said...

Diva, nice to see you back. Damn, there you go with the asparagus (mouth waters) I love that stuff.


The Diva on a Diet said...

Thanks, Argentum, its good to *be* back! Funny how dependent we've become on our internet connections. Lived half my life without it ... and now can't manage a day without it. I've got a lot of catching up to do today! ;)

Anonymous said...

We're trying to get our waistlines back in shape. Maybe this is one we should make a note of. :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

If you really want to be parsimonious with the calories, Duo, you could always skip the nuts and cheese and go with the just the asparagus. A sprinkle of lemon wouldn't hurt either. (But really, don't skip the garnish! LOL)


Deb said...

Welcome back Diva!

When roasting asparagus I also add a grating of fresh nutmeg as well.

Yesterday I roasted cauliflower using Ellie Krieger's recipe and boy oh boy was it yummy. We fought over every last scrap. One head was definitely not enough!

But pound for pound asparagus is still my favorite too!


Juliet said...

Looks great! I like roasting sweet potatoes!! :)

Miss Caught Up said...

I love asparagus too!!! I'll have to try it out! :D Thanks!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Oh how I love roasted cauliflower, Deb! That's actually my favorite ... and you're right, one head is NOT enough. Love the use of nutmeg too, I put it in almost everything. LOL

Juliet - I'm with you on the roasted sweets too. Had one for lunch today, in fact, with some left-over turkey chili. Yummy!

Nice to see you again, MCU! The roasted asparagus is so easy and good ... make some for Mr. Method! :)