Thursday, February 23, 2012

Healthy Habits: Roasted Asparagus

Normally, the only time I use canned Parmesan Cheese is to marinate cut up chunks of hotdog overnight to use as good, stinky fish bait the next morning. Wow, that's really appetizing, huh!? For this recipe I thought canned Parmesan Cheese would stick better than fresh grated. It did, and it tasted great!

I have heard of Roasted Asparagus, but never tried it. Since I got two bunches of fresh asparagus last week in my Bountiful Baskets food coop basket, I figured it's time to try it. 

By the way, if you're not familiar with Bountiful Baskets, go to the website and check it out. You have the opportunity to participate every Saturday, or as frequently as you'd like. When you participate your money is pooled to purchase fresh produce in bulk at wholesale prices. It is purchased from the produce companies that supply the grocery store that you purchase your fruits and veggies from every week. You get a basket of half veggies, half fruit, and the selection is different each week.

Anyway, back to the asparagus...
I am a true asparagus fan! I have never met an asparagus I didn't like. I've even been known to eat it raw when I have the munchies. That being said, this Roasted Asparagus is a contender for the best asparagus I've ever had. And it was super simple and quick. I love recipes that anyone can make and get the same results an experienced chef would get. This is definitely one of those!                              

What you need:      
Olive Oil (in sprayer)      
Sea Salt
Fresh Black Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (in can)

How to do it:                                                                                    
Turn oven on to 350 degrees F.                                           
Cut (and throw away) hard ends of Asparagus.
Lay Asparagus out on baking sheet.
Spray lightly with Olive Oil.
Sprinkle very lightly with Sea Salt (don't need much with the Parm)
Grind fresh Black Pepper over Asparagus.
Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over Asparagus.
Put in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

The amount of cooking time is variable depending on how thick the Asparagus is. Very thin obviously takes less time, while big, fat stalks can take 20-22 minutes.

After cooking the first batch of Asparagus, I removed it from the tray and spread out another batch. I actually cooked three batches of Asparagus one right after the other. I had put foil on the baking sheet; I did not replace or clean the foil between batches. From batch to batch, the Parmesan built up on the foil (because let's face it, even though hubby thinks I'm perfect, even I can't sprinkle Parmesan and have it land only on the asparagus). Each time it went back into the oven, that Parmesan got browner and browner. When I took the last batch out, I rubbed it around in the toasted Parmesan Cheese on the tray. Mmmmm....soooo good!!

That's how easy it is. If you are trying to get more fresh veggies in your diet and don't really know how to go about preparing them, this recipe is definitely one to try. You can serve this for a special occasion and look like a gourmet chef.

For another super easy, fresh veggie recipe try this Warm Caprese or these Roasted Veggies.

What is your favorite veggie? Is there any veggie that you don't dislike, but just haven't found a favorite way to prepare?

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