Thursday, June 2, 2011


Roasted Asparagus

2 bunches asparagus [about 2 lbs]
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoons black pepper
1/3 cup packed freshly shredded parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 475.  Hold the end of an asparagus stalk and bend until it snaps off.  Repeat with remaining stalks and discard woody ends.

Toss asparagus with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss well.  Arrange asparagus in an even layer in a shallow baking dish.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake until asparagus is crisp-tender and cheese is browned, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Serve hot or warm.

Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and halved
6 cups halved cherry, grape and pear tomatoes in varied colors
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Boil asparagus in a large pot of salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Mix asparagus with remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well to coat evenly with dressing.

Asparagus  Frittata
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup salt
1 pound asparagus, tough stem ends snapped off and spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
4 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat broiler.  Pour olive oil into a 10-inch ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and salt, stir until onion is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.  Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low and cook , covered until asparagus is barely tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Pour in eggs and cook until almost set but still runny on top, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese over eggs and broil until cheese is melted and browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Slide frittata onto a serving platter and cut into wedges.

Orzo with Peppers and Asparagus

1 cup orzo pasta
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced orange bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in thirds
1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh mint, basil and flat-leaf parsley parmesan
about 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions.  Drain, rinse and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tblsp olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat.  Add peppers, garlic and asparagus and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and started to brown, about 3 minutes.

Add warm pepper mixture to cooked orzo, then add herbs, cheese, remaining 2 tblsps oil, salt and pepper, stirring well.  Serve with more on the side.

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