Considering the memories I have of asparagus while growing up, loving it today is a testimony to our tastes changing dramatically as we mature. I used to cringe at the mention that we were having asparagus for dinner; I simply despised it. That being said; I’m thinking some part of that was due to the fact that my mother either was serving them from a can or she followed the time honored tradition of boiling the living hell out of them. Remember ‘Spanky and Our Gang?’ When they lamented the awfulness of mush; I imagined nothing could be worse than asparagus!
Unfortunately it was many years into adulthood before I gave them another chance and it was truly a life changing moment. Gently cooked, whether steamed, grilled or roasted and they are now such a favorite. No longer mushy but a nice crisp bite and the color? Wow…I really thought asparagus were Army green straight from the ground; who knew it was just one more misstep in that whole overcooking process?
They are one of my spring trifecta…I LOVE asparagus, baby peas and Brussels sprouts and all three of those poor veggies suffered the same fate at the hands of many home cooks ‘back in the olden days.’ How I wish I could offer up a tray of roasted asparagus to my mom…I bet she would love them. I don’t hold her at fault; it was the thing they did back in her day but I do wonder who got that awful tradition of overcooking started?
My favorite easy method of preparing asparagus are the Grilled Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan shown above. I mix them with some olive oil and garlic, throw them on the grill and then garnish with a bit of Parmesan cheese once they’re done; it’s so easy. This is sort of a fancier version of that dish and honestly; I would grill these too. I roasted them this time because I hadn’t done a tuneup on my grill yet and didn’t feel like doing a spring cleaning for this dish yesterday, but follow the same recipe and just watch the time carefully; they will cook much faster than in the oven.
We’ve still got the potential for snow in Denver but Spring is starting to show it’s sweet face more and more. I see some day lily leaves announcing their presence and buds are starting to appear on my trees. I hope to get some more plants in the ground this spring so that next year I’ll have a few more surprises but still…it’s finally here and I’m a happy girl.
Spring and summer are such exciting times in the food world and you could do worse than starting your Spring off with a dish of these babies. It was so good I didn’t need anything else for dinner but a slice of french bread; try it, you’ll see!
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Garlic and Parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 lb fresh asparagus, washed, dried and tough ends of stalks removed (approximately 32 pieces)
- 1/2 lb bacon (approximately 8 slices; if using thick cut bacon, precook for 6-8 minutes until just starting to brown. Remove from heat and let drain on paper towels before continuing)
- Salt and Pepper
- Combine olive oil, garlic and parsley in small pan and saute for 2 minutes over low heat, remove from heat and let stand for at least 15 minutes to cool down.
- Put the asparagus is a large flat container and drizzle with the olive oil, garlic and parsley mixture and mix thoroughly so all of the asparagus is coated.
- Lay 4 stalks of asparagus in the center of each strip of bacon and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Wrap bacon around the center of the stalks and secure with a toothpick.
- Place asparagus bundles on baking sheet, drizzle bundles with any remaining olive oil mixture and bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender and bacon is crisp.
This week The Food Network is featuring Asparagus for their #SensationalSides; checkout some more great recipes from the bloggers below:
- Homemade Delish: Asparagus Crostini
- Devour: 25 Ways to Use Asparagus
- Feed Me Phoebe: Spring Quinoa Mujadara with Asparagus
- In Jennie’s Kitchen: Asparagus & Arugula Panzanella
- Healthy Eats: 5 Fresher Ways to Prepare Asparagus
- Napa Farmhouse 1885: Asparagus, Onion & Pesto Pizza
- Red or Green: Roasted Asparagus with Spicy Thousand Island Dressing
- The Mom 100: Millet Greens Salad
- Taste with the Eyes: Modern Asparagus Spring Rolls – Red Chili, Black Sesame, Almond
- FN Dish: 6 Ways to Bundle Up Asparagus This Spring