Monday, March 12, 2012

Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Thyme

Welcome to spring a/k/a asparagus season!

Even if it doesn't feel like spring yet, it will. March has arrived. Yesterday, we sprung forward, much to the collective grumbling of those of us who rose to alarms this morning. But the net benefit of more sunlight later in the day is worth the pain of losing that precious hour. At least, this is what I told myself when I forced myself out of bed today. Even the Adorable Monster wanted to sleep in later. 

But I'm up now and sipping green tea and blogging!

It was an action packed weekend. I hosted a fun wine and pizza party with pies from Pace, one of my favorite restaurants. And had a meet and greet session with my friends' brand new twin girls (so precious!). It was nice to catch up with my college friends, who I don't see as often anymore.

But back to what you really came for—asparagus.

Glorious, jumbo asparagus has been showing up at my local grocery stores and farmers markets. Hands down, this is one of my favorite vegetables. It's flavor is totally unique. It also packs a nutritional punch, with tons of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  

Usually, my go-to cooking method has been roasting asparagus in the oven, but lately I've been slicing up the jumbo stalks and cooking them in my beloved cast iron skillet. I throw a few thyme sprigs into the mix for great flavor, and finish the asparagus with shaved parmesan and a little fresh lemon.

Is this dish simple? Yes. But is it also one of the best tasting things ever? Yes.

That's how it is with many of the best things in life.

Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Thyme
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
Vegetarian; gluten-free

  • a big bunch of jumbo asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano 
  • fresh lemon juice 

  1. In a cast iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the asparagus slices and the thyme sprigs. Quickly cook, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is beginning to soften. Season to taste with salt and pepper and squeeze in a little lemon juice.
  2. Pick out the thyme sprigs (you may use them as a garnish if desired). Transfer to a platter to serve family style or portion into bowls or onto plates. Top with the parmesan. Enjoy!

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