11 June 2008

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar



Summer will be here in another week but I am still finding pretty bundles of local asparagus at the market. I brought home another bunch just yesterday. It is such an elegant vegetable. With very little preparation it is ready to cook and always looks fantastic on a plate. It seems that no matter how I cook it, asparagus is always a smart complement to almost any entree.

When beautiful tender shoots of fresh asparagus were first showing up at the produce stand this spring I searched for new recipes that would showcase their supple beauty and intriguing taste. I served asparagus with a great Asian dressing in Asparagus with Walnut Dressing, I tried it with a Spanish influence in Asparagus with Toasted Bead Crumbs and Olives and I added it to Spring Paella. In every recipe it met or exceeded my expectations.

But now that spring has raced into summer asparagus and I are on much more familiar terms. Our relationship has grown more routine. Even on a weeknight, when my family's schedule is crazy, and dinner is rushed, asparagus is still there. I know that, even if I don't have much time to spend with it, I can count on it to perform. Time after time, as I search the produce aisle for a quick dinner side dish, asparagus is the answer. I have grown to trust it to shine, to share its flavorful goodness, even without a lot of thought or effort on my part.

For those kinds of evenings, here is another recipe from Donata Maggipinto's "Real-Life Entertaining". It is a very simple recipe. No shopping list required. It takes you from gorgeous produce purchased on impulse at the market to the dinner table without a lot of fuss. All you need is the asparagus, a little olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. Then season to taste and you have a quick and easy side dish that is appealing and delicious.

Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar

Medium sized asparagus spears work best for this dish.

1 pound asparagus spears
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat broiler.

Wash and trim asparagus.

Fill a large saucepan with 1/2 inch water. Bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the asparagus spears and cover.
Steam for 2 minutes.

Drain asparagus spears and arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with the olive oil turning them until they are completely coated with the oil.

Broil under preheated broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer asparagus spears to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar. Season as desired with salt and pepper.

2 comments:

the southern hostess said...

Yum. I bet this is delicious. I'll have to try it.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love roasted asparagus, but have never tried them with balsamic vinegar. Great recipe, Lisa!