Archive for Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Try this bunch of asparagus recipes

April 17, 2002


Roasted Asparagus With Goat Cheese And Bacon

This is an ideal side dish for a brunch menu; it can be prepared an hour in advance. Just cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature.

6 bacon slices

2 pounds medium asparagus, cleaned, tough ends trimmed

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

salt and pepper to taste

3 1/2 to 4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

In a large, heavy skillet, cook the bacon until it's brown and crisp. Transfer it to paper towels and drain. Crumble bacon and set aside.

Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 500 degrees.

Arrange asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and turn asparagus to coat well. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Roast asparagus until it's crisp-tender when pierced with a knife, about 7 minutes.

Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a serving platter. Sprinkle it with the goat cheese, then the bacon. Drizzle with lemon juice and the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with grated lemon rind.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 162 calories (70 percent from fat), 13 grams fat (4 grams sat. fat), 6 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams protein, 169 mg sodium, 12 mg cholesterol, 49 mg calcium, 2 grams fiber.

Roasted Asparagus With Parmesan Cheese

1 pound asparagus, cleaned and trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon soft white bread crumbs

2 teaspoons margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place asparagus on a baking pan. Drizzle spears with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and toss to coat.

Combine cheese, bread crumbs and margarine. Sprinkle asparagus with cheese mixture and drizzle with remaining olive oil.

Bake, uncovered, until asparagus is just tender, about 15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 85 calories (67 percent from fat), 6 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 5 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein, 84 mg sodium, 2 mg cholesterol, 57 mg calcium, 2 grams fiber.

Spring Casserole Of Roasted Asparagus And Artichokes

The flavors of lemon-roasted asparagus and artichokes blend well with the salty feta cheese in this recipe. The vegetables are great on their own but become a one-dish meal when combined with rice. If desired, substitute orzo.

oil for roasting pan

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds asparagus (16 to 24 medium spears), bottoms trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

12 canned or frozen and defrosted artichoke hearts, quartered

1 medium red bell pepper, julienned

2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, divided

1/2 cup pitted brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or half-sheet pan.

In a large bowl, combine asparagus, artichokes and red pepper. Add garlic, grated lemon rind, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange the mixture in a single layer in the roasting pan. Do not wash the bowl.

Roast the asparagus mixture for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring once or twice for even cooking. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.

In the large bowl, combine cooked rice, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, half the cheese, olives and parsley. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Transfer to a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. (The casserole can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator up to 4 hours; increase the baking time if the casserole goes into the oven cold.) Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Remove from oven and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 434 calories (38 percent from fat), 18 grams fat (7 grams sat. fat), 54 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams protein, 796 mg sodium, 34 mg cholesterol, 229 mg calcium, 4 grams fiber.

Asparagus Sandwich

Serve this sandwich for a special brunch or lunch. Use any variety of focaccia bread.

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon rind

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup reduced-fat or nonfat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 squares focaccia bread, about 5 by 5 inches (4 rectangular sandwich rolls, split, with about the same surface area can be substituted)

1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves or baby lettuces

1 cup julienned, well-drained, roasted sweet red bell pepper

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

16 medium-thick asparagus spears, roasted

4 slices (about 1/8-inch thick) pancetta, cooked almost crisp and broken into 2- or 3-inch lengths; or substitute 8 slices cooked thick bacon

To make the lemon aioli, in a small bowl whisk together the lemon rind, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise and oil.

Spread the smooth side of each square of focaccia with a generous 1/2 tablespoon of the aioli.

On 4 focaccia squares divide and layer the arugula, red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese, asparagus and pancetta. Top with the remaining 4 squares of focaccia. Cut each sandwich into two triangles and serve.

The sandwiches can be served at room temperature or warmed a few minutes in a 450-degree oven. The sandwiches should not be hot.

Makes 4 generous servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 617 calories (42 percent from fat), 29 grams fat (12 grams sat. fat), 66 grams carbohydrate, 26 grams protein, 1,019 mg sodium, 57 mg cholesterol, 350 mg calcium, 5 grams fiber.

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