Finally, asparagus season is back in the Pacific Northwest. Though it seemed like it snuck up on us this year. Last week the markets were still offering all winter vegetables such as kale and parsnips, and all of a sudden, this past Sunday at the Ballard Farmers Market, it was asparagus and morels all over the place! Well, in truth, it was asparagus, morels, peanuts, and dried beans all around.
We love asparagus. Our favorite recipe is the simplest. Just snap off the woody ends of the asparagus, toss with olive oil and some spices (usually garlic, paprika, or seasoned salt) and roast in a 400 oven for about 20-30 minutes (depending on thickness). When the asparagus is done, grate a little Parmesan cheese over the top, slide it back into the oven for about 2 minutes and eat. Yum. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Even though that’s our favorite recipe, we’re going to branch out a bit this year and see if we can’t find another favorite. So, today’s recipe is just about as easy, but has a few more ingredients. I went searching for ideas the other day, and our recipe is loosely based on this one.
A quick note on today’s ingredients: our asparagus came from Alvarez Farms at the Ballard Farmers Market. The hazelnuts were from Holmquist Hazelnuts at the University District Farmers Market. We used non-local olive oil, but this weekend we’ll pick up some more hazelnut oil from Holmquist and use that.
- 1 bunch of spring asparagus
- Olive or hazelnut oil
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts
- 1/8 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
Snap the ends off of the asparagus.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Chop the nuts and mix with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Toss the asparagus in the oil, and top with the nutty mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
Results: This dish tasted great, but it did really need a little less cooking time. The breadcrumb mixture was just a tad too brown for my liking. The cooking time listed above is a couple of minutes shy of what we actually used. I still like our original recipe the best, but this was a close second.
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