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Diane Rossen Worthington
It's springtime, and that means asparagus is in season, plentiful and reasonably priced. When buying asparagus, look for bunches that are vibrant green. Check to make sure that all the stalks are the same thickness so that the asparagus will cook evenly. To ensure freshness look for tips that are tightly closed and ends that are slightly moist.
Like corn, asparagus should be cooked soon after you buy it for maximum flavor and sweetness. The longer it stays around, the quicker it will turn to starch. Select medium spears so you don't need to peel them. Make sure to trim off the tough woody part.
Asparagus is equally delicious steamed, boiled, grilled or roasted. I am partial to grilling and roasting. I often serve the accompanying recipe as a first course or as a side dish along with a simple grilled entree.
- Garnish with chopped hard-cooked egg and red and yellow cherry tomato halves.
- Garnish with long shards (use a peeler) of Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
- Serve at room temperature as part of an antipasto plate.
- Puree any leftover cooked asparagus with a little cream or vegetable stock, and use as a sauce for fish.
Roasted Asparagus with Citrus Vinaigrette
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
This vinaigrette recipe makes more than you will need; save the leftovers to liven up salad greens, cold seafood or pasta salads. It keeps a week in the refrigerator.
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon each, finely chopped: parsley, chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped basil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, garnish
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, chives or basil
For the vinaigrette:
Combine the shallots, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, chives, basil, mustard, lemon juice and vinegar in a medium bowl, and whisk until well blended. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking continuously until blended. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
For the asparagus:
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place the spears on a baking sheet; toss with the oil and salt and pepper to taste until evenly coated. Roast until tender and very slightly browned, 12 minutes. Place on a serving plate. Spoon over the citrus vinaigrette; garnish with the lemon zest and herbs.
Per serving: 173 calories, 79% of calories from fat, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 266 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.
Available at Amazon.com:
Roasted Asparagus with Citrus Vinaigrette - Diane Rossen Worthington Recipes
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