Friday, April 20, 2012

Recipe for Sauteed Asparagus with Melted Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts

This Sauteed Asparagus with Melted Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts tasted amazing

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.  This recipe was first posted in 2006 as part of Asparagus Aspirations at Seriously Good, sponsored by blogger Kevin Weeks.  Kevin passed away last week, and I'm dedicating this recipe to his memory.  His insight and cooking expertise were something he shared freely with many people, and he will be greatly missed.)

When I first made this recipe in 2006, I said "At the risk of sounding like I'm completely lacking in modesty, let me say that this was one of the best tasting things I've ever eaten in my life!"  Now years later this is still one of my favorite ways to cook asparagus, even after I lightened it up a tiny bit from the original recipe. I'm still on a bit of an asparagus binge around here, and when I made this to take new photos I ate about half of it for lunch that day.  You can see the original picture after the step-by-step photos, and if you're joining my asparagus binge you'll find lots more ideas for cooking asparagus after the recipe.

Crumble the gorgonzola cheese so you'll have it ready to add immediately as soon as the asparagus is cooked.  (I used 1/4 cup cheese, which is 1 T per serving.  Gorgonzola has 8 grams fat per ounce, which is lower than some types of blue cheese, but it should be used in moderation if you're making this for the South Beach Diet.)

Cut the asparagus into pieces about 2 inches long.  (I'm compulsive about cutting them on the diagonal so they look prettier!)

Slice up 4 large cloves of garlic.  (Don't use garlic from a jar for this recipe.)

Heat the olive oil, then add the garlic and saute about 1 minute, or just until you start to smell garlic.  (Don't brown the garlic or it will give the oil a bitter flavor.)

Add asparagus to the pan and saute about 5 minutes, just until it's barely starting to soften.  I turned it several times while it was cooking.

While the asparagus cooks, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes, just until they barely start to turn brown.

When asparagus is done, turn off the heat and sprinkle cheese over and let it melt about 1 minutes.

Quickly put the asparagus on a serving plate, sprinkle with pine nuts, and serve hot.

And as promised, here is the original photo of this from back in 2006!

Sauteed Asparagus with Melted Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts
(Makes 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from many other asparagus recipes)

1 pound fresh asparagus (thin spears preferred but you can peel the bottom of the spears if you use thicker asparagus)
1 T olive oil (or slightly more, depending on your pan)
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 - 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
2- 3 T toasted pine nuts (see below for how to toast pine nuts)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I used a little pepper, but I didn't think it needed salt)

Snap off a piece of asparagus to see where to cut off the tough ends, then trim all asparagus to that length and cut into pieces about 2 inches long. (If you don't have thin spears, I recommend peeling the lower part of each spear with a vegetable peeler.  I like to cut it on a diagonal so it looks prettier.)

Put olive oil into large frying pan, turn heat to medium, add garlic and saute about 1 minute, or until you start to smell garlic and the cloves are barely starting to get some color. (Do not let it brown or it will make your oil taste bitter rather than delightfully garlicy.) Take pan off of heat and remove garlic and discard.

Put pan back on heat, add asparagus, and saute about 5 minutes, turning frequently, until asparagus is barely starting to soften and brown slightly. Timing will depend completely on how hot your stove burner is, but I cooked mine exactly 5 minutes and it was perfect.

While asparagus cooks, toast pine nuts: Put a small frying pan on burner and turn heat to high. Add pine nuts to dry pan and toast for 1-2 minutes, or until barely turning brown, shaking pan frequently.

When asparagus is done, turn off heat and sprinkle crumbled Gorgonzola over asparagus in pan. Let sit one minute, until about half of the cheese is starting to melt and the rest is still in firm pieces. Plate asparagus and sprinkle with pine nuts.  Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper as desired: I didn't  use any salt and I didn't think it needed it.  Serve hot.

South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe is suitable for any phase of the  South Beach Diet, but it's probably a "once-in-a-while treat" since gorgonzola and pine nuts are both relatively high in fat.

More Fabulous Ideas with Asparagus:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
This recipe was part of
Lightly Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Asparagus with Garlic from Kalyn's Kitchen
Asparagus Aspirations at Seriously Good, (many, many ideas for cooking asparagus) 
Six Years of Favorite Asparagus Recipes from A Veggie Venture
My Top Three Asparagus Recipes from Gluten Free Goddess
Favorite Aspargus Recipes from Cheap Healthy Good
Roasted Asparagus with Manchego Cheese from The Perfect Pantry
Pickled Asparagus from Food in Jars
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)  counter customizable free hit


Alanna said...

This looks DELICIOUS!

Genie said...

Wow, Kalyn -- this looks divine. I'm going to have to try it!

:-) Genie
The Inadvertent Gardener

ilva said...

With or without, you manage SO WELL anyway! Just look at this dish...I better make it to stop the drooling!

BNA said...

Oh my goodness. I'll have ten servings, please.

Kalyn said...

AK, Genie, Ilva, and BNA, it tasted amazing. I'm eating the other half for lunch today. Thanks for visiting.

Leigh said...

This dish looks absolutely delicious! And I love the first tender asparagus of the year.

Joe said...

I agree.. this looks so fantastic!

PleasureCooker said...


doodles said...

not only does this look delicious it is delicious.........I tried it shorty after you it came up on Asparagus Aspirations!!! I must admit here in Florida asparagus was long gone.........but ours is now coming from Peru of all places and I must admit not bad. But I will make this dish often...thanks kalyn

ruthie said...

I made this for dinner tonight and I must say it is the most delicious asparagus I've ever eaten. Thank you!
I found your site through googling "south beach diet friendly recipes" I can't wait to try more of your recipes.

Tim and Audra said...

OK I just found your site and it's great, I just started the south beach diet on Monday so I am in phase 1. I didn't know you could eat gorgonzola, so thankyou for that. Also, Giada D. ( has a recipe for artichokes with melted gorgonzola that might be good, haven't tried it yet, (the bread crumbs and cream might need to be substituted) but now I will. Thanks!

Kalyn said...

Hi Tim,
This recipe fits very well with the emphasis on low-glycemic foods that is the foundation of South Beach, but it might be a little high in saturated fat. Now you have me wishing I was home so I could look up gorgonzola to make sure it really is okay! I'm thinking it might be what I call a "once in a while treat" for South Beach. Look for the lowest fat gorgonzola you can find and it should be fine.

Kalyn said...

Hi Tim, me again. I followed a link in this recipe and remembered I found some crumbled gorgonzola at Costco that only had 8 grams of fat in 1/4 cup, which should be great for South Beach. Look for something like that if you can.

S/V Veranda said...

Kayln, Thank you so much for this site, it is one of the very best out there. I love your enthusiasm, creativity, and inspiration. I am eating this asparagus dish as I type and all I can say is "OH MY" it is out of this world! I have made it several times and I seriously doubt that I will ever eat asparagus any other way!

Kalyn said...

Ali, so glad you're enjoying the recipes. (And oh I am shuddering when I look at this old photo!)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

It's such fun to see the old photo and how super your photos are now. The dish looks just as delicious as ever.

pegasus said...

Looks delicious...just wondering if there is a substitute for gorgonzola? For expecting mothers :)

Joanne said...

I really truly wonder how I've missed this dish all these years! After all, it combines some of my favorite things! Asparagus...gorgonzola...pine nuts. Amazing!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Lydia. I love seeing the progress.

Pegasus, you could substitute any kind of cheese that melts easily and I'm sure it would still taste good.

Joanne, glad you re-discovered it.

Betsy said...

This looks really delicious! I'm definitely going to try this out. We're hosting an online seasonal potluck and May is asparagus month. If you'd like to link your recipe, we'd love to have you!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Ooo Looking forward to making this one Kalyn! I'm always up for new asparagus recipes!


Karen said...

This recipe looks delicious, but I don't like gorgonzola cheese. Do you think feta would be okay? Thanks!

Kalyn said...

I think it will be great with feta!

Marshall and Wanda said...

My teenagers were cringing at the cheese sitting on the counter waiting to be sprinkled on the asparagus. Turns out they absolutely LOVED the recipe. Both said it's a keeper! I used almonds instead of pine nuts just because that's what I had on hand. Thanks for another super SB recipe!

Kalyn said...

That's great; so glad to hear the teenagers liked the recipe!

Anazar said...

My kind of salad!

Kalyn said...

This is actually a warm vegetable side dish and not a salad, but I bet it would also taste good at room temperature.

small kitchen wizard said...

Quick and easy asparagus recipe (I love asparagus). I think it's a great photo too. Can't wait to try it.

Kalyn said...

Thanks, hope you enjoy!

susiet said...

Oh man! That is sooooo "Raven"!

Ok, well it probably isn't. I wouldn't even know having never seen that show, but that title sure is catchy isn't it? Hehe!

You do know your away around our skinny green friends doncha, Missy? Great job. Gorgeous photo and tasty lookin' vittles! I feel a trip to the grocery for the aspara-guys comin' on!

Cookin' Canuck said...

I am positively drooling over this recipe, Kalyn. This has to be one of the best asparagus recipes I've seen!

Kalyn said...

SusieT, this is worth making a trip to the store!

Thanks Dara, I absolutely love the flavors in this one.

Sandy @southwestgirl said...

Love your unique asparagus recipe. And... just happen to have blue cheese in my fridge right now.

Kalyn said...

Sandy, yaay! Hope you get to try it.

Unknown said...

I make something like this with crumbled blue cheese and a drizzle of balsamic reduction and grilled asparagus when I can. Always a big hit!

Alison said...

Three of my favorite things! This HAS to be delicious. I can't wait to try it! Love your site :)

Kalyn said...

Thanks Alison. It was indeed delicious!

Anonymous said...

Really great new way to serve up asparagus and love the combination of gorgonzola with the asparagus

Hanna said...

I will be eating this all summer long! Thanks for the great recipe.

Kalyn said...

Hanna, glad you liked it!

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