Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Roasted Asparagus with Sea Salt and Parmesan

My mother absolutely hates asparagus- as in, she has a 60ish year-old story she has related to us countless times about hiding it from her mother behind the drapes when she was a child to avoid eating it.
Needless to say, she didn't cook it for us when we were kids- ever.
In fact, I remember the exact moment when I tried it for the first time...
It was the 4th of July, 1997- I was 15.  I remember this because we ate in front of the TV that year rather than the kitchen so that we could watch the Mars landing.
My mother and sister were visiting my grandma in Wisconsin and my dad and I were celebrating the holiday with close family friends.

Somehow asparagus came up in the conversation and when our host, Sue, heard that I had never even tried it we dropped everything and drove to the store.
Home we went with a bunch of asparagus and a mission- Sue would not rest until I had tasted asparagus.
I was hooked- my mom is crazy!  Asparagus is so wonderfully good.

Anyway, this summer, while we were visiting Rugby, my husband's step-mother made eggs benedict with asparagus for breakfast.

First of all, let me just say- YUM.  That asparagus was SO GOOD!
That being said, I've got a fairly picky daughter and really didn't think it was going to go over well...thank goodness her aunt- whom she adores- convinced her that asparagus is delicious (which it IS) and that she should try a few bites.

My daughter is hooked.  Oh so hooked.  I am on cloud nine...not only is she willingly eating a new kind of veggie, but it's a veggie I love and can now make more often.  SCORE!!

Anyway, this month I had the pleasure of working with Diamond Crystal Salt to create a recipe using their product.  Of course I went with asparagus- I'm not one to pass up another opportunity to share the asparagus love with my daughter.  Not to mention (dare I say it?) the holiday season will be upon us soon and- though I'm getting a little ahead of myself- this is the perfect simple and delicious side dish for any holiday table.

I started by tossing the asparagus with a little melted butter, garlic, lemon zest, parmesan, and of course Diamond Crystal Coarse Sea Salt- simple enough, right?

Then I roasted it in the oven and served it with a simple garnish of lemon peel strips.  Super super easy and totally delicious too.  My daughter is such a huge fan she asked for seconds- not something I ever expected from the second pickiest eater of the family!

I'm a huge fan of coarse sea salt- I find that it is so much easier to control the amount used and flavor than when cooking with table salt.  According to the Diamond Crystal Salt web site, "only Diamond Crystal® brand features products using the proprietary Alberger® salt process, a method for harvesting unique-shaped crystals with numerous facets. This gives you a bold burst of flavor, exceptional adherence and blendability, and the distinctive texture recognized by chefs everywhere."

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine has- this simple and satisfying dish will definitely be making an appearance on my holiday tables!

Roasted Asparagus with Sea Salt and Parmesan

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal® Coarse Sea Salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut trimmed asparagus into approximately 1 1/2" pieces.  Place asparagus pieces in large bowl and add parmesan, butter, garlic, black pepper, Diamond Crystal® Coarse Sea Salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest in small bowl; toss to coat.

2. Transfer asparagus to baking dish, spread out to single layer.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

I am an AllrecipesAllstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews my personal blog.  The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are all my own. 

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