Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

I love asparagus!  I never thought I would, but in my twenties I came to love it.  Asparagus is super healthy too!  It's got anti-aging qualities (which, as I near thirty, I'm appreciating), works wonders for detoxing (which, as you know, I'm on my third day of a 72-hour cleanse), and it's even anaphrodisiac (which, considering the after-effects really surprises me).  OK, so it also helps prevent cancer, reduces pain and inflammation, prevents osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, reduces the risk of heart disease, and can help prevent birth defects.  So, besides it's wonderful taste, there's eight great reasons for you to make this recipe.  And trust me, you won't regret it!

1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends removed
1/4 cup olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2-4 cloves garlic, rough minced
2 anchovy filets (or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste) just trust me on this one; you won't taste it!
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with olive oil, thyme, and garlic.  Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake 7-10 minutes, being careful not to overcook.

While the asparagus is cooking, mash the anchovies with a fork to form a paste.  Add the lemon zest and juice and combine well.  When the asparagus is done, toss with the anchovy-lemon paste.  Season with pepper to taste; you shouldn't need extra salt due to the anchovies, but if you must, give your asparagus a pinch of salt as well.

Tastes wonderful hot or at room temperature!  Goes great with Baked Salmon with Red Currant Glaze.  Wrap in prosciutto for a salty twist!

Serves 4.

Recipe adapted from Celebrate the Rain, by The Junior League of Seattle. 

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