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Roasted

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

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Lemon Roasted Asparagus

If you want to do the Whole30 Challenge successfully, you better learn to love your vegetables!  Asparagus may not be the “sexiest” vegetable (then again, what is?) or the trendiest item on the menu, but they’re packed with nutrients. 

Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, and vitamins, A, C, E and K.  While you can eat asparagus raw, which is great chopped up in a salad, I prefer it best roasted.  

The beauty of this recipe, and asparagus in general, is it really doesn’t require much effort to make it extremely flavorful.  Ina Garten, my chef idol and wannabe best friend, has a perfectly simple asparagus recipe, only calling for a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  She doesn’t even use “high quality” butter, which for Ina is rare, maybe even unheard of. 

Not to toot my own horn, and one up Ina, but I added one simple ingredient and it’s now become my favorite asparagus recipe, vegetable and side dish.  If you haven’t already guessed, seeing as its in the title of the recipe, it’s LEMON.  Lemon adds a fresh burst of flavor.  I use both the zest and the juice to really make this vegetable sing. 

Ever since, asparagus has been making a regular appearance at my dinner table.

 

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

1 Bunch Asparagus

2 Tbspn Olive Oil

1 Lemon

Salt

Pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut off the bottom ends of the Asparagus (the flat white tips).  These are tough and therefore not ideal for eating/cooking
  3. Lay the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Using a lemon zester, zest the outside of the lemon over the asparagus.  Try to sprinkle the zest evenly but don’t worry too much as you’ll be tossing the asparagus to coat evenly.
  5. Once zested, roll the lemon to release the juices. 
  6. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus.
  7. Give the asparagus a light toss to ensure they are evenly coated.
  8. Place the asparagus in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until lightly brown and tips are slightly charred and crispy. 

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Turmeric and Tahini Grilled Eggplant

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Turmeric and Tahini Grilled Eggplant

I wasn’t kidding when I said; I’m on a major Mediterranean kick lately!  I was making a large family style dinner for friends on Friday night and wanted a side dish that’s easy to produce in bulk and of course looks pretty. 

Most importantly, I wanted a recipe without a lot of prep time so I could enjoy the company of my friends.  I hate when I entertain and spend less time with my friends and more time with my stove…alone.

This recipe was so easy to make and takes very little time to assemble.  This means, more time spent with friends and very little time spent in the kitchen.   I was inspired by Chef Christopher James Clark, and adapted his eggplant recipe.

 

Tumeric and Tahini Roasted Eggplant

½ Medium sized Eggplant per person

¼ cup Pine Nuts

¼ cup Raisins

Parsley for garnish

¼ cup Tahini

3 tbspn lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

1 tspn turmeric powder

2 tbsn olive oil

1 tbsn water

salt and pepper

 

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2.     Slice the eggplant into ½ inch slices

3.     Liberally salt the eggplants- This will release a lot of excess moisture and help get a good char on the slices

4.     After 10 minutes, pat dry the eggplant slices, squeezing out any excess liquid

5.     Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil

6.     Roast for 20 minutes, until golden brown

7.     On a grill or grill pan, finish the eggplant (5-7 minutes per side)

8.     While the eggplant is cooling slightly, soak the raisins in hot water

9.     Toast pine nuts by placing in an oil-free pan.  Toss on medium heat until golden brown.  You can also tell when they’re done because you will smell a mild nutty flavor.

10. Whisk together tahini, lemon juice, turmeric, olive oil, water, salt and pepper in a bowl

11. Drizzle the tahini sauce on top of eggplant sauces and top with raisins, pine nuts and parsley for garnish

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