100 Days Project, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 27 – Crumbed Asparagus

day27

Another busy day needs another quick, simple, and yummy recipe . . .

This recipe for Crumbed Asparagus, by The Cozy Herbivore, seemed to be the perfect side dish for the left over Creamy Pearl Barley & Porcini Mushroom Risotto from my Day 25 post. It has lovely flavors of lemon, honey, garlic, and chive added into the freshness of the roast asparagus, and the crunchiness of the panko bread crumb is one of the best parts of the dish.

Asparagus has been eaten as a vegetable and used as a medicine, since ancient times.  It was known in Syria and in Spain, and Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried it for eating during the winter.  A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, and the ancient Greek physicians used asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD. By 1469, asparagus was cultivated in French monasteries, and asparagus became available to the New World around 1850.  Because once the buds start to open, the shoots will turn “woody”, only young asparagus shoots tend to be eaten.  Asparagus is low in calories, very low in sodium, and is a good source of many other vitamins and minerals.

I know winter in New Zealand is not asparagus season, so I am being a bit naughty, but this dish was worth the ridiculous amount I paid for the asparagus at the food store.

The recipe can easily be made gluten free by substitutng the bread crumbs for gluten free bread crumbs, and can be made Vegan by substituting the honey for agave nectar or brown rice syrup, and leaving out the parmesan.

Crumbed Asparagus

adapted from: The Cozy Herbivore

MAKES: 2-3 servings

INGREDIENTS

for the asparagus:

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic granules
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste

for the crumb topping:

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh flat-leafed parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trim asparagus spears by snapping off woody ends. The asparagus will break naturally between the fresh stalk and the tough end. Discard the ends.

Juice and zest lemon. Finely mince lemon zest and set aside to use in crumb topping.

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, honey, garlic granules and olive oil.  Add a pinch of sea salt & a few cracks of pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Toss trimmed asparagus spears in lemon juice mixture. Arrange coated spears in a single layer in a casserole dish, and pour remaining lemon juice mixture over.

Bake until just tender, about 10 minutes. They should feel slightly soft and be easily pierced with a fork without being mushy.

While the asparagus is roasting, prepare crumb topping. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, minced herbs, olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the finely minced lemon zest. Using freshly washed hands, toss the mixture together until combined. Add a generous pinch of sea salt & a few cracks of pepper. Taste
and adjust seasonings accordingly.

When asparagus is done roasting, pour bread crumb mixture over and place under the broiler of your oven for one minute, or until browned and toasty. This can very quickly turn from brown to burned so keep a careful watch and do not walk away.

When the crumb has browned, take the baking dish out of the oven and serve,

ENJOY!!

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