There are many ways to cook asparagus: blanched, steamed, braised, sautéed , roasted and even grilled on an open fire. The trick is to make sure not to cook them too long, otherwise they become an unpalatable, fibery mess. Therefore preserving their crunchiness, no matter what cooking method you use is key.
One of my favorite ways to cook asparagus is to roast them. Their flavor becomes so intense that I sometime wonder if it’s the same vegetable I started with. The roasting time will depend on whether the spears are delicate, pencil-thin or meaty, jumbo ones. Here, I serve them as an appetizer with slices of pink grapefruit and a drizzle of lemon-infused oil – elegant and yet so simple!
Food & wine pairing: Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc with roasted asparagus and pink grapefruit salad
A Sauvignon Blanc from a cool region like Sancerre (France), Marlborough (New Zealand) or San Antonio Valley and Casablanca Valley (Chile), with crisp acidity and notes of lime and grapefruit, is perfect with this appetizer.
Roasted asparagus with pink grapefruit, pine nuts and lemon-infused oil
active time: 15 min
- 1 large pink grapefruit
- 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) asparagus spears – rinsed and stem snapped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 teaspoons lemon oil for drizzling
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 large jelly roll pan
- Preheat oven to 500°F (260ºC).
- Step 1: Peel the grapefruit down to the flesh, quarter lengthwise and remove the thin membrane around each slice, being careful not to break them. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Step 2: Move rack to the top of the oven. Spread the asparagus on a jellyroll pan. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (depending on their size) until the tips begin to brown. Remove from pan and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Step 3: Place a bundle of asparagus in the center of each plate. Top with 3 grapefruit slices and sprinkle with the pine nuts. Drizzle with the lemon oil and finish with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.