Meyer Lemon Roasted Asparagus with Pecorino, Toasted Almonds, and Balsamic

My parents have told me “horror” stories about growing up eating canned asparagus. Apparently it was gray, mushy, and lifeless. I think I’d rather eat goat cheese (my food aversion).

I am so lucky to grow up in a town where fresh fruits and veggies are grown and sold at about a dozen farm stands. Every Spring, I still get excited for the first fresh produce of the season, which is usually asparagus!

Farm stand asparagus is bright green, tender, an intensely earthy. When asparagus is off-season and isn’t sold at the farm stand, I still love picking up a fresh, beautiful bunch from the grocery store, and roasting it with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. My favorite way of cooking asparagus is roasting it on high heat so it frizzles on the ends. Squeezed with Meyer lemon – a milder, sweeter lemon – and sprinkled with toasted almonds add acid, crunch, and butteriness that’s just perfect.

Feathery shavings of Pecorino Romano add a sharp, salty undertone, and a drizzle of sweet balsamic make an app to bookmark.

 

 

 

Makes: 2 appetizer portions

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

The Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and stems peeled

1 Meyer lemon

¼ cup slivered almonds

Extra virgin olive oil

1 small block Pecorino Romano (I love black peppercorn Pecorino if you can find it), for shavings

Good-quality balsamic, for drizzle

Salt and pepper

 

 

 

The Steps

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a foil-lined baking sheet, bake slivered almonds for 4-5 minutes, tossing half way through to achieve an even golden brown color. Remove from oven and set aside.

On another foil-lined baking sheet, place asparagus, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Toss lightly and spread out asparagus. Roast asparagus for 15-20 minutes, until tender and tips are slightly crispy.

Remove asparagus from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Place asparagus in middle of plate. Squeeze a half of a Meyer lemon on each plate, reserving thin slices to garnish. Sprinkle toasted almonds. Use a vegetable peeler to shave Pecorino. Drizzle with balsamic.

 

 

 

The Steps with Pictures

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a foil-lined baking sheet, bake slivered almonds for 4-5 minutes, tossing half way through to achieve an even golden brown color. Remove from oven and set aside.

On another foil-lined baking sheet, place asparagus, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Toss lightly and spread out asparagus. Roast asparagus for 15-20 minutes, until tender and tips are slightly crispy.

Remove asparagus from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Place asparagus in middle of plate. Squeeze a half of a Meyer lemon on each plate, reserving thin slices to garnish. Sprinkle toasted almonds. Use a vegetable peeler to shave Pecorino. Drizzle with balsamic.

 

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