Asparagus with Red Pepper Dressing

Make a roasted red pepper and oregano sauce to enhance the flavor of fresh asparagus. It’s the perfect side dish for grilled meats, or serve it over cooked grains or pasta for a delicious vegetarian main course.

Ingredients

  • 2 roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled soft goat cheese (optional)

Instructions

In a blender, combine bell peppers, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream. (This pepper dressing can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of time. Cover, refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before serving.)

Break off tough ends of asparagus and discard. If desired, use a vegetable peeler and peel asparagus from just below flowering top to the end.

Fill a skillet with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat; add the asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and run the asparagus under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Arrange the asparagus on a platter or divide among 4 plates. Drizzle each serving with about ¼ cup dressing and sprinkle with goat cheese.

 

Crisp Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Making this easy, elegant party appetizer is a balancing act between getting crisp prosciutto and overcooking the asparagus.

Ingredients

  • 34 medium asparagus spears, ends trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 17 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise (about 7 ounces)

Instructions

Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack about 5 to 6 inches below the heating element. Set a large plate aside.

Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle it with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss until the spears are evenly coated with the oil. Transfer them to the large plate and set the baking sheet aside.

Starting just under the scaled tip of the asparagus, wrap each spear with 1 slice of prosciutto in a downward spiral toward the cut end, just barely overlapping the seams of the prosciutto. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining asparagus, leaving as much space as possible between each spear while still fitting all of them onto the baking sheet. (Make sure the spears don’t actually touch, or the asparagus and prosciutto will steam and won’t crisp.)

Broil for 3 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven, and flip the asparagus over. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue to broil until the asparagus is charred in spots and the prosciutto is crisped and browned, about 3 minutes more.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients 
  • 2 pounds thick asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a baking sheet or a baking dish large enough to hold the asparagus in one layer. Place the asparagus in the dish, and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until the stalks begin to shrivel and color lightly.

Remove from the heat, toss with the thyme and season with lemon juice if desired.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

This delicate, spring-fresh soup makes excellent use of slender asparagus tips as well as fat, succulent spears.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion or 6 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pouns fresh asparagus
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • milk or broth to thin

Instructions

Saute onion in butter. Dice potato and add along with 1 cup of stock. Simmer until potatoes are soft.

Wash the asparagus and snap off the tough end and slice into 1 to 2-inch pieces.

Dice celery, including leaves. Ass asparagus, celery, and remaining stock to potatoes and onions.

Cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are quite tender. Add salt and pepper and puree. Add milk or broth to thin the soup as desired.

Sauteed Asparagus with Grape Tomatoes

A drizzle of olive oil will turn Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes into an elegant side dish ready in under 30 minutes! Plus, make this at the beginning of the week for an easy side dish to use throughout the week.

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Ib of fresh asparagus
  • 1 and 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper, or other seasonings, to taste

Instructions

Place a medium sized skillet over low-medium heat. Add in olive oil and allow it to warm up. Rinse your asparagus and tomatoes and mince your garlic. Cut the ends off of the asparagus and cut your tomatoes in half. Once skillet is warm toss in your garlic and stir it around for a minutes or two, just until it becomes fragrant.

Add in asparagus and toss them around to coat evenly with olive oil and minced garlic. Allow to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add in your grape tomatoes and allow everything to cook together for another 5 minutes, add salt and pepper or other seasonings if you wish. After 10 minutes the asparagus is done. Turn off heat and transfer asparagus and tomatoes to a serving dish, scoop out any remaining juices or garlic and spoon it over the asparagus.

Asparagus, Apple and Radish Salad

This salad has all of the flavors of early spring and is perfect for lunch or a light supper.
Ingredients
For the salad
  • ½ pound asparagus, thinly sliced
  • ½ Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Parmesan cheese, small chunks for garnish
For the dressing
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
Instructions
Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the vegetables very thinly into bite size pieces.
Put all of the vegetables in a salad bowl and toss to combine.
Place the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and sugar in a small bowl and mix it with a whisk. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine.
Add the chunks of parmesan and gently stir them into the salad. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.