When you've got gorgeous spring asparagus, just a sprinkle of salty Parmesan is all that's needed to set off the spears' natural sweetness. Plus, fresh vegetables and cheese always go well together.
This side dish will look very appetizing on your…
dinner table, especially accompanied by several lemon wedges for added color.
Asparagus can be eaten raw but roasting it brings out a whole new and amazing flavor profile. Roasting vegetables makes nearly every previously disliked vegetable delicious. A decade ago Brussels Sprouts were not particularly popular-- now, roasted Brussels Sprouts are on many fancy restaurant’s menu.
So what does roasting do that boiling, steaming, or baking cannot? When placed under very high heat (400F and above) the vegetables caramelize, making them sweeter and less bitter than you’re typically accustomed to. It’s important to wait until your oven is finished preheating before putting in your vegetables for roasting in order to ensure they get nice and, well, roasted and crispy. Rather than baking then slowly roasted. You want that crispy, crunchy outside. When roasting vegetables, such as asparagus, some of its crispness is maintained but it is soft enough to chew thoroughly.
So here you have roasted asparagus (yum!) topped with nutty parmesan cheese (double yum!). This is a winning side dish! For this asparagus recipe, you’ll definitely want to use fresh asparagus. Canned asparagus is just too limp to roast and don’t taste as good. If your grocery store or farmers market is not currently selling asparagus, you may have to wait until asparagus season arrives, which is February to June in the U.S., according to thespruceeats.com.
You can try using previously frozen and thawed asparagus. They may have more bite than canned once they’re roasted but could end up soggy compared to the fresh asparagus.
Not only is this a delicious recipe, but it’s also healthy. This recipe makes four servings. One serving has 16 percent of your daily value of dietary fiber and only 80 calories. That’s right-- a side dish with cheese that has fiber and only 80 calories!
Asparagus has been eaten since ancient times. It is a vegetable that is cultivated around the world and prepared in various ways. It has found its way into a number of cuisines, from American to European to Asian. Its high water content makes it a very low-calorie vegetable.
To prepare asparagus, you need to remove the tough end (the thick part of the stalk at the base). You can tell where the best place to cut the asparagus is by gently bending the stalk and seeing where it begins to give way and fold. Cut just slightly below that. The base is typically too tough to eat-- even if you roast it for a while.
Asparagus can be eaten raw. It has a nice crunch and makes a great addition to a platter of crudites. You can also put a trimmed stalk or two in a smoothie, or put it through a juicer with other vegetables and fruit for a healthy juice.
You may have seen white asparagus and purple asparagus in the grocery store or at the farmers’ market. You can combine the white and green for a colorful plate. The white is genetically the same as the green, according to Modern Farmer, it just lacks pigment. Purple asparagus turns green when cooked so if you want to eat it when it’s purple, it’s best to use in a green or grain salad. Search “asparagus salad” on Yummly to find nearly 4,000 recipes. Also, if it’s not asparagus season and you spot this vegetable in the grocery store, it can be pricey. Using it in salads-- both green and grain is a great way to stretch the asparagus and get the most out of it while being able to enjoy it out-of-season.
Shredding parmesan cheese
Sure, you can buy shredded parmesan. But it’s more economical, and dare we say, tastes better, to shred it yourself at home. If you need a small amount like this recipe calls for (2 Tbsp.), then using a hand-held grate will suffice. You can get the job done quickly and choose how course you want your cheese to be. For larger amounts of shredded cheese, a food processor works best.
If you want the perfect parmesan to pair with asparagus, speak to the cheese expert at your local grocery store. They likely have some great tips for how to pair parmesan with vegetables and may suggest other cheeses to go with this dish, too.
Additional roasted asparagus toppings
You could also sprinkle this with slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts for some added crunch and flavor. For a different take on this recipe, you could wrap several pieces of the roasted asparagus in prosciutto, bundle by bundle. Then pop those small prosciutto-wrapped bundles back in the oven to crisp-up the thinly sliced meat. Keep a close eye on it because it won’t take long. Take it out of the oven and sprinkle with parmesan. Have fun cooking and adding recipes to your Yummly library! If you made any adjustments to this recipe or have any tips for other cooks, please share in the comments.
- 1 1/4 pounds asparagus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
- 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim the rough ends from the asparagus spears and arrange spears on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Roast for 10-12 minutes on the middle rack of oven.
- Remove the asparagus from the oven when the asaparagus is tender.
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the spears. Serve immediately.
|Calories80Calories from Fat35|
|% DAILY VALUE|
|Calories from Fat35|
|% DAILY VALUE|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.