Friday, April 12, 2013

Recipe for Slow Roasted Asparagus

Slow Roasted Asparagus
Gorgeous spring asparagus is tossed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then slowly roasted until it's nicely browned and tender.  Perfect!

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and this method of roasting asparagus at a lower temperature is one I've been using for years.  It's especially good for the larger stalks of asparagus you often find this time of year.)

It is officially spring, which means it's time for asparagus.  I'm hoping this simple recipe will remind you how tasty asparagus can be when it's coated with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then slowly roasted so the vinegar slightly caramelizes. Nothing could taste better.  There are some good recipes in the archives where the asparagus is roasted at a higher temperature, but this recipe can be especially great if you want to cook something else in the oven along with the asparagus.  How about Turkey Pesto Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce or Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Casserole sharing the oven with this asparagus?

Trim woody ends of the asparagus and cut on the diagonal into bite-size pieces.

Then toss with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and fresh ground pepper, and roast in a preheated 350F/180C oven until it's done to your liking.  That's all there is to it!

Slow Roasted Asparagus
(Makes 2-4 servings, depending on how much you like asparagus and what else is served with it.

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, then cut on diagonal
2 T extra virgin olive oil (or less)
1 T best quality balsamic vinegar (or less)
salt - fresh ground black pepper to taste

Oven should be preheated to 350F/180C.

Take one piece of asparagus and hold by both ends and snap. This will give you a guide as to how much woody stem of the asparagus needs to be cut off (usually about 2 inches). Trim the rest of the asparagus pieces to that size, then cut on diagonal into 2 inch pieces.

Put asparagus in large Ziploc bag, pour in olive oil, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Manipulate bag until asparagus is well coated with oil/vinegar mixture, then pour into ceramic or glass baking dish. Cook asparagus 20-30 minutes, removing from oven when asparagus is still slightly crisp and firm.

You might want to serve this with a few drops of that very expensive balsamic vinegar you've been saving drizzled over just before serving.

South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. This would be great with the phase one version of Baked Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Basil, and Goat Cheese. For phase two or three, try it with Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Perfect Asparagus from Kalyn and Other Bloggers:
(Recipes from other blogs are not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce ~ Simply Recipes
Lightly Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Asparagus with Gruyere and Smoked Paprika ~ Family Fresh Cooking
Sauteed Asparagus with Melted Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts
Barely-Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Lemon Pepper Asparagus ~ Gimme Some Oven
(Want more recipes?  I find these ideas from other blogs using Food Blog Search.

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  1. Great minds think alike. I made Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan last night - nice and easy, and finally a wee bit 'o Spring.

  2. This is going to be the Spring when I finally slow roast asparagus for the first time! Thanks Kalyn!

  3. Looks great. Roasting does wonders for so many veggies--asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower . . .

  4. I love asparagus any which way, but roasting and grilling are my favorites. Love asparagus with balsamic, too.

  5. How funny, Kalyn. I made your recipe for slow roasted asparagus Monday night. I got a good bunch of spears and knew just where to look for a tasty recipe. It was delicious!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. My local market had asparagus on sale - $1 a pound! I bought 2 bunches of them - again! I can't get enough of them! I used olive oil the last time I roasted them, but didn't use the vinegar. Thanks for sharing a different way to roast them!

  8. Cate, hooray for spring and asparagus.

    Ilva, you will love it.

    Sarah, it was so good!

    Lydia, I agree, those are two of the best ways.

    Brady, I'm glad you still made it even with that awful picture on the old post, and glad it was delicious.

    I will continue to delete comments where people leave their url as an "advertisement" for their blog. You're welcome to leave your signature at the beginning as a link so people can find your blog, but no links left in comments please. Otherwise I will be overrun with those types of comments.

  9. Toni, you're welcome. Apparently we were posting our comments at the same time.

  10. It strikes me that this would be really great finger food with some kind of light balsamic dip...but I don't have anything specific in mind. Until I come up with a dip, I'll enjoy it just as you have it here.

  11. Asparagus is all over the blogosphere this week. I can't wait to get some!

  12. Wonderful!! I can't get enough asparagus right now. It's so delicious.

  13. Isn't spring wonderful!
    I'll be jealous of all that lovely green asparagus...and you can be jealous of my lovely violet asparagus!

  14. I'm reading your asparagus post from a conference in Seville, Spain, where they make a variation on this dish.

    They pick out asparagus that is nice and skinny (early spring after all, and they sell asparagus in the street seasonally), leave it whole, combine with spring onions (each cut in half lengthwise), season very simply with coarse salt (but not too coarse, kosher would work) and olive oil, and roast.

    The spring onions carmelize a little and add a little zing ...

  15. I'm just so happy that it's asparagus season again!
    We'll be roasting it until my kids can't stand the sight of it any more.

  16. I just made this and it was great! Thanks!

    I'd like to explain something to people who have never grown asparagus. Asparagus is different from other vegetables - the earliest asparagus is actually the thick stalks. Asparagus is the shoot of a plant coming up from the roots. As you pick the spears, new spears will come up, but as the energy stored in the roots is used up, the stalks get thinner and thinner. When the reach a certain size, you must stop picking, let the stalks mature, and give the plant a chance to recover its strength until next year.

    So the thick stalks are not more mature versions of the thin stalks. They are actually the first growth and are quite tender.

  17. Leslie, glad you liked it, and thanks for the asparagus information. I didn't know that, and always wondered what the difference was. Also, I always kind of preferred the thicker ones, it felt like I was getting more asparagus flavor for my money!

  18. I have cans and cans of asparagus spears. My family has never eaten this item. Can someone help me to introduce my family to asparagus. Thanks

  19. Oldsarge6, I've never cooked with canned asparagus and to tell the truth, I don't know if I've ever bought it. Maybe someone else will e-mail you with an idea.


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