Seriously Simple: Usher in spring with roasted asparagus
Springtime marks asparagus season, when they are easily available and reasonably priced. You’ll want to select asparagus that are all the same thickness so they will cook evenly. Very fresh asparagus will have closed tips and slightly moist ends. Look for medium spears, so you don’t need to peel them, and make sure to trim off the tough woody part. It’s best to cook them soon after purchasing so they will be at their optimum flavor and sweetness. This roasting technique makes sure they keep their vibrant green color.
This recipe is topped with a lusty romesco sauce. This Catalonian-style sauce — made from roasted red peppers, garlic, sherry vinegar and almonds — may be made up to one week in advance and stored in a container in the fridge. If you are pressed for time, look for roasted and peeled jarred roasted peppers.
Any leftover sauce can be tossed with pasta, spooned over eggs, spread on toast, or drizzled on steamed or roasted veggies. You can also freeze it in ice trays for later use. Spanish Marcona almonds are used here for their unique creamy texture and sweet flavor. The chopped almonds and parsley add just the right garnish. I like to serve this warm as a first course. You can double the recipe and serve it chilled or at room temperature.
Warm Asparagus with Romesco Sauce
1 1/2 pounds fresh medium asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Romesco Sauce (see following recipe)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, for garnish