Let me talk to you about my relationship with asparagus. It started a couple of weeks ago. It was something like.. love at first bite. Don’t ask how it was possible not to have eaten asparagus before. I feel sorry about it too. But now I will really try to make up for lost time. Besides asparagus season is upon us and till the end of June I have plenty of time to try most of the recipes I have bookmarked.
During April all my favourite restaurants introduced new dishes, featuring this bright and wonderful spring-time vegetable. Even though I was reluctant at first, I knew I had to try. And I did; I tried that steamed asparagus salad with lemon vinaigrette. A simple dish that brought out the unique and distinct flavors of asparagus.
A couple of days later I bought my first bunch from the farmer’s market. Beautiful, long, slim, green and purple stems. Boiled or baked, cold as a salad or warm in an omelette, asparagus can be eaten in countless ways. What else could you ask from a vegetable?
Roasting has become my favorite method for preparing my veggies for salads or soups (like this amazing winter carrot soup). Asparagus needs about 8-10 minute to become tender and warm. I used the roasted asparagus to make a warm salad with homemade pesto, Brie cheese and almonds. It was as amazing as you can imagine. The mild and earthy tones of asparagus were perfectly combined with the lightly tangy flavor of Brie. The lemon zest sprinkles on top added this extra touch of freshness and turned my first asparagus dish into a favorite.
- 500 g fresh green asparagus spears
- 50 g Brie cheese, cubed
- a handful of almonds
- the zest of one lemon
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 tbsp pesto (store-bought or homemade)
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- To prepare the asparagus: After making sure that asparagus are clean, hold one end of the asparagus in each of your hands and bend it until it naturally snaps in two. Discard the tough, woody ends.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the fibrous outer layer of the lower part.
- To roast the asparagus: Arrange the spears on a baking sheet and coat with the olive oil and salt them well. Cook for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and fork tender.
- Remove from the oven and cut asparagus into pieces
- Put asparagus into a large bowl; add 2 tbsp of pesto and let it melt for a minute or two.
- Add the cheese and the almonds.
- Season with salt and white pepper according to taste.
- Sprinkle with the lemon zest, add the remaining pesto and serve while warm.