Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recipe: Asparagus

Now that asparagus season is in full swing, I wanted to share two of my favorite recipes using these yummy green spears. Both recipes use very few ingredients, take hardly any time, and, best of all, they're extremely easy and totally manageable for a kitchen novice. 

Roasted Asparagus with Feta
I watched Ben's mom make this a few years ago, and it was so incredibly simple and delicious I've been making it ever since. It's a great side for a dinner party, and when it's plated there's an unexpected wow factor for such an easy dish. 

1 bunch of asparagus (about 14 stalks), trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
feta, crumbled
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Lay the asparagus on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. With your hands, give them a quick roll around to make sure each stalk is evenly coated in oil. Roast for 8-10 minutes until asparagus is tender and just starting to brown. Drizzle lemon juice over the hot asparagus and crumble as much or as little feta as you'd like right over the top. Serve immediately. 

Prosciutto & Asparagus Rolls
This recipe is actually from The Minimalist himself, Mark Bittman. If you'd like to watch a video of him make these, check it out here. I made them as an appetizer for a dinner party and they were a total crowd pleaser. They're cute little bite-sized rolls that look quite complex considering how easy they are to make. This makes a dozen or so rolls.

1 bunch of asparagus (thinner stalks are preferable), trimmed
4 cups baby arugula, washed
1/2 lb proscuitto, sliced thin
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes until they are tender but retain a little crunch. Shock them briefly in an ice bath so they keep their vibrant green color. Pat the asparagus dry and add them to the bowl with your washed and dried arugula. Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the bowl, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper and toss that all together. On a piece of parchment paper, lay out your strips of prosciutto so they overlap just a bit and pat them down so the strips stick together. At one end of the prosciutto, pile a small bunch of arugula and a few spears of asparagus. Using the parchment paper to get you started, roll the prosciutto over the arugula and asparagus and keep rolling until you have one long tube. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into small segments. Plate and serve.

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