Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan

"Love at first bite" is not how I would describe my relationship with asparagus. It was on my list of least favorite foods for years on years. Despite childhood my complaints, my dad put it on the dinner table it relentlessly. Maybe he was on to something, because I'll load my plate with seconds and thirds when it comes to asparagus now. 

Then again, way back then, I hadn't tried asparagus like this: drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with fresh lemon zest, and dusted with shredded cheese. Oh no -- back then it was always steamed. But steamed asparagus and oven-roasted asparagus can not be compared. They are a world apart. 

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan
Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest & Cheese

Use thinner asparagus for this recipe. It cooks quickly and gets crispy (the crispy bits are the best). Plus, the cheese to asparagus ratio is ideal on the skinnier stalks! 

Speaking of cheese, let's talk about the cheese: you could really use what ever type of hard cheese you want for this recipe. Parmesan would work great. I used a 3-year Gouda I splurged on at Whole Foods that is equally as hard as parmesan for these photos. Robusto would probably also be great! 

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan

Roasted asparagus is the perfect side to grilled fish or this Walnut & Herb Crusted Salmon.

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic & Parmesan

Published April 12, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus (I prefer the skinnier ones for this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus lemon slices for garnish
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Fit a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Cut the last inch from each stalk of asparagus and discard. Spread stalks out on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, using a pastry brush to coat each stalk, or simply turning the stalks over with a fork until they are well coated. Sprinkle with garlic, cheese and lemon zest, and then season with salt & pepper.
  3. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until tops of the asparagus start to turn crisp and stalks are bright green. They should be tender through. Serve hot, with lemon slices for garnish.

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Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai restaurants seems to have a magic sauce they put on everything to make it rich and full of umami. The first section of the menu I look at is the curry section. The Thai restaurant down the street from us serves curry with Japanese Pumpkin (AKA Kabocha squash) in it, and it's to die for. When I don't go for curry, I turn to eggplant. The soft vegetable has a way of soaking up all of that magic sauce and transforming into a seared buttery bite of flavor. And when I don't order either of those, I order Thai Basil Chicken. 

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai Basil Chicken is always smothered in plenty of the magic sauce. You think I'm full, I'll take the rest home and then five minutes later you find yourself still munching, addicted to that sauce. I'm a bit particular about Thai Basil Chicken though. Some restaurants use ground chicken and others used minced or cubed chicken... I much prefer the ones that skip the ground chicken and use chopped chicken. And unless the restaurant has pictures all over their menu, you never know what you're going to get! 

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

I also want my plate of Thai Basil Chicken to be full of veggies! Peppers, broccoli, mushrooms... whatever they are serving with the chicken, I ask for extra. This is where I get myself into trouble. Most of the time the waitress tries to talk me out of it. I've heard the "There are plenty of vegetables in it," line a lot. And I have said "I know, but more please," a lot. Still... never enough. 

And then I realized: Make it at home! Duh! Figure out the magic trick in the sauce, cube the chicken, and use whatever veggies look the best. Definitely one of those why didn't I think of this sooner things. Live and learn. 

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Thai Basil Chicken & Asparagus

Published August 10, 2017 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 Thai chilies, minced, plus 5 for garnish for people who like it 🔥
  • 1 tablespoon oil for frying - I used an organic sustainable red palm oil, which can handle a high cooking heat, but you can use coconut or avocado, too
  • 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce (Most oyster sauce contains sugar and some contains wheat. If you have allergies, read the label! It is an important ingredient to making that secret sauce 😊)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of loosely packed Thai basil leaves 
  • 1-1/2 cup chopped asparagus, with white ends removed

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan. Stir every few minutes, cooking until the pieces are browned on each side. Add garlic and 4 minced Thai chilies.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Pour into wok, and stir to coat the chicken. Reduce heat so sauce is just simmering.
  3. Add chopped asparagus to pan, and cook for 5 more minutes, until asparagus turns bright green and tender.
  4. Just before serving, add in the basil leaves, stirring to distribute evenly. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice, or eat it on it’s own.

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Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Early spring always feels like such a tease. Two weeks it was 80°F and the next week we were watching spherical snow fall from the sky and land on the road where it turned instantly into slush. Even though March feels like it should be all spring and flowers and showers, it's usually the snowiest month of the year for us. Whatever accumulates never lasts long this time of year, melting with in a day or two. 

The moment you have yourself convinced  it's finally spring and the warm weather is here to stay, Mother Nature takes the wheel again and drops some white stuff outside your window. It is too warm for soup and too cold for salad all at the same time. Potatoes and winter squash are long gone, but asparagus and spring radish are yet to come. This is the limbo between winter and spring we are in. I desperately crave fresh produce picked from the garden, a dose of vitamin D from the sun, and a late evening where the skies stay light past 6pm.  

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad
Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

I wrote a poem about this game of limbo when I was still in middle school, and recently surfaced it back up in my piles and files of "old stuff." For a change of pace, I'm sharing the poem with you all today. Isn't it funny to look back at stuff you did "way back when?"

Spring Storm Poem

Snow falls from the blue-grey sky

Wind whirls as snowflakes fly

Dead trees seize the white powder

And what escapes from the raspy limbs

Floats helplessly to the open jaws

Of the cold stone-hard earth.

Clouds hover beyond the sky

Blooms and buds freeze under cold frost

Spring colors are lost.

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Roasted Asparagus & Raw Radish Salad

Paleo, Primal, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Roasted asparagus and fresh radishes make for a springy pair!

Serves: 2 as a large side, 4 as a small side   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup radishes, sliced

  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • Dash each of Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Chop the thick, white-ish ends off of the asparagus and discard. Chop remaining asparagus into 3rds and toss in avocado oil. Spread in even layer on baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until asparagus begins to crisp. Remove asparagus from oven, and allow to cool.
  3. Toast pine nuts in oven on a separate baking sheet for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, make dressing: place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  5. Assemble salad: Place spinach in large salad bowl, and top with asparagus and sliced radishes. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Use a knife to finely slice the red onion and add to salad. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve.

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