Monday, March 26, 2007

Asparagus - As a Side Dish and In a Main Dish

Roasting Asparagus Really Does Bring Out The Best Flavor

I almost forgot how much I liked asparagus until I ate it recently. It had been a while since I had it last. I think I had been avoiding it because I may have had a few bad cooking experiences with it in the past. Sometimes fresh asparagus can be tough and stringy at the stem. I have learned a few tricks over the years to prevent this from happening. And now I'm passing them on to you!
By the way, asparagus is really good for you too. According to the world's healthiest foods website, it provides a wealth of B vitamins including 157% of the daily value for B3, 99% of the daily value for B6 and 96% of the daily value for folate.

Roasted Asparagus
Parade Magazine April 2006

1 pound medium sized asparagus
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
I didn't use the next 2 ingredients:
1 tablespoon chopped fresh leaf parsley
2 lemons, halved for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a roasting pan, coat the asparagus with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer, facing the same direction. Cover with foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove foil and roast for 10 minutes. (I roasted them for 15 minutes at this point). Arrange on a platter, garnish with parsley and lemon halves.

Mixed Salad Annie Quick Tip:
Prepare the asparagus by washing under cold water. Take one asparagus and holding with both hands towards the bottom end, snap the asparagus in half. This is the natural breaking point where you should trim the remainder of the asparagus. Just line them up in a single layer and cut them all at the same point. I also peel the asparagus about 1 inch from the bottom with a vegetable peeler to ensure a tender stem.

Healthy Asparagus Omelet
Mixed Salad Annie

1 large egg and 1 egg white
1 tablespoon skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
5 asparagus spears, cooked and cut into small pieces
1 slice of low-fat, low-sodium swiss cheese (I used Alpine Lace)
1 tablespoon buttery spread (I used Smart Balance)

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk the eggs, milk and salt and pepper. Add spread to the skillet and then the eggs. Let eggs set for a minute or two, lifting the sides of the egg while tilting the skillet to allow the loose egg to flow under. When the egg is no longer loose on the top, add the asparagus and cheese and fold over one side of the egg on top of the other. Allow to cook for another minute. Flip omelet over and cook for 30 seconds more. Slide onto a heated plate and enjoy.

Mixed Salad Annie Quick Tip:
Once the omelet has been flipped over, take the plate you intend to eat on and place the top over the skillet while the omelet cooks for 30 seconds. This will warm your plate and also help melt the cheese.


Anonymous said...

Boy, is asparagus tasty! For me, it's the perfect side dish to accompany a seared steak with pan sauce.

I've heard of the "snapping" method but I would rather peel the tough layers with a peeler (too much goes to waste when you snap it). The folks at America's Test Kitchen also advises to cut 2-inches from the end to avoid waste.

Kim said...

I basically use the same method to grill asparagus outdoors. In addition to salt and pepper, I sprinkle the asparagus with garlic powder and grill until tender. It's yummy!

Unknown said...

Oh, I love omlettes! I do this ALL THE TIME! Yum! And asparagus is great. I did the same thing but in a frittata in my post yesterday.

Anonymous said...

say it with me mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm bacon

Emma said...

I love all of your quick tips! You really are a master in the kitchen. I'd never heard of an asparagus omelet before.