Monday, February 6, 2012

Roasted asparagus with lemon and garlic

       When was the last time you wanted something ridiculous?
       For me, it was Friday afternoon. I was on a bus with a dozen other world-weary musicians for four hours. We were tired. We were hungry. And as everybody knows, the best thing you can do in such circumstances is talk about how tired and hungry you are. My friend R. and I began discussing everything we were craving at the moment, all of which we were quite sure we wouldn't see for a long time ... lasagna, stuffed shells, and tortellini ... homemade chili, cornbread, and enchiladas ... scalloped potatoes and jello salad and other potluck delights ... cottage cheese loaf and mashed potatoes. A torturous amount of time later, we pulled up to the church where we were playing the next morning, and the fabulous church members had laid out a soup supper for us.
       Unfortunately, ours was the late bus, so two minutes after we sat down with our loaded plates, the director, Mr. B., announced that rehearsal would start in ten minutes.
       R. and I looked at each other. We looked at our plates. We reached a silent agreement that we weren't moving from that room until we were full.
       Sorry, Mr. B. Priorities.


       That church took exquisite care of us for the next 24 hours. They set us up with people to stay with, a fabulous potluck lunch (including both scalloped potatoes and jello salad), sack suppers to take on the road ... and through it all, they were thanking us right and left for coming. That continues to amaze me. We're college students, remember. If you give us even one good meal, especially in the middle of the week, we will love you forever.
       If your climate is anything like ours, you've been in the midst of mist for a while now. Everything is gray and drizzly and ew. You may feel as though your feet will never be warm again. You may feel as though you will never see asparagus again. Not at a reasonable price, anyhow. Don't ask me how I know that.
       But it will happen. Pinky promise. And when it does, you'll have this recipe to celebrate spring properly.

Roasted asparagus with lemon and garlic
(original as far as I know, but let's face it, roasting vegetables with lemon and garlic is not a new idea)
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • Sea salt
  • Grated parmesan (optional)
  1. Wash asparagus and remove tough ends. (How I do this, as taught to me by my friend's grandma: Hold asparagus with two hands, by the stalk end and in the middle. Bend until the stalk snaps. It will snap at the point where it's tender.)
  2. Dry asparagus and lay in single layer on baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.
  3. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until brown and crispy. Sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

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