Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Simple Spring Side Dish

Asparagus - the King of Spring!

Bunches of beautiful, bright green asparagus standing proudly in beds of ice proclaim that spring is indeed here in Ohio! As a salute to asparagus, The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market chose this simple Roasted Asparagus with Limoncello Vinaigrette recipe because it combines the sunny citrus-ness of Limoncello with the fresh taste of asparagus. It's a perfect complement to seafood and chicken or as a room-temperature starter to your dinner menu. Once you taste it, you'll want to find ways to serve this delightful vegetable dish to family and friends.

The ingredient list is short! To get started, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and cover a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.

Clean the asparagus and trim the woody ends. Place the spears in a single layer on the foil-covered baking sheet.

We like to mix the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar with a lid. Our back shelf has a collection of different sizes of jars for just this purpose. We run the jars through our industrial dishwasher, dry them and store them. Once the lid is tightly on, give it a good shake to combine.

Start by pouring half the vinaigrette over the asparagus and then turn the spears over to get them coated. Use as much vinaigrette as you want. As you can see from the photo below, we opted to use a little over half the dressing. You can save the remainder for salad or drizzle it over chicken or seafood or other vegetables - especially green beans.

Roast the asparagus for 8 - 10 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drizzle a bit more vinaigrette over the spears and serve hot, warm or at room-temperature. 

Roasted Asparagus with Limoncello Vinaigrette

1 pound asparagus, trimmed 
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup limoncello
2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400ยบ.

Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Drizzle half the vinaigrette onto the asparagus and toss to coat. Roast for 8-10 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove from oven and drizzle with additional Limoncello Vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Serves 3-4

Adapted from a Loretta Paganini School of Cooking recipe.

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