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Monday, April 19, 2010

Broiled Asparagus

Broiling makes it better:

After a weekend of pizza, sleeping outside in 30 degree weather and crashing until 4pm yesterday, tonight I was craving something full of greens and homemade flavor. Luckily when I came home I found a bundle of asparagus stalks calling my name in the fridge. Two teaspoons of olive oil, some salt and pepper and a 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese later we were in business. I am a huge proponent of asparagus steamed but I have been dying to try the method that I keep seeing on blogs: broiling. The idea of tossing those succulent green stalks in olive oil and then broiling them in the oven sounded like the most amazing way to satisfy my vegetable deficiency. The gentle roast created the perfect texture and a dizzying almost "meaty" aroma to an otherwise sweet vegetable. I use the term "meaty" loosely considering the fact that I am describing asparagus. Just trust me!

This dish is a beautiful side but could also be a delightful light lunch paired with some cheese and crackers or a fried egg and a slice of thick toast. The recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart and her brilliant section on spring veggies.

1 bunch green asparagus (1-1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons olive oil, (plus an optional extra drizzle)
1/8 teaspoon salt, sprinkle pepper
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Raise the oven shelf to the second highest notch. Preheat the broiler to HIGH.
2. To prepare the asparagus hold each end in one hand. Bend the stalk and it will snap automatically at just the write place. Discard the thicker end as it could be bitter or woody. Rinse the asparagus, pat dry and place the on the baking sheet.
3. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss until coated.
4. Place the asparagus in the oven and broil for 4 minutes. Stir asparagus gently and broil for another 3-4 minutes. The veggies will start to look crinkled and will be soft when pierced with a fork when they are done. If your asparagus is extra delicate you may need to reduce the cooking time slightly.
5. Remove from the oven and toss with the feta cheese. Serve warm with an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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