Asparagus is the first vegetable that makes it feel like spring has arrived. A subtle change happens in the local stores with tough, bland, winter asparagus is slowly replaced with more tender and fresh options. My go-to method of preparing asparagus is roasting with olive oil and salt, but I really liked the flavor punch that this recipe packed. It can be made in the oven or on a grill (though be careful that the bottom doesn’t burn.
A lemon vinaigrette finishes the dish off. The bright pop of flavor lightens the heaviness of the nuts and cheese. It would make a great salad dressing as well.
PISTACHIO CRUSTED ASPARAGUS WITH FETA
1 pound asparagus
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shelled, roasted pistachios
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.
Rinse the asparagus and cut about an inch off of the stem ends. Pat dry and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and toss to coat.
Crush the pistachios in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Spoon half of the mixture onto the asparagus, then flip and cover the other side with the pistachio crumbs.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender through. Remove from the oven and top with feta and then drizzle with lemon vinaigrette.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp honey or agave
Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Cap and shake vigorously.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
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Roasting is my favorite way to prepare most vegetables. It’s simple and is flexible with oven temperature, though low and slow will give a more tender result.
Recipes for vegetarian/vegan gravy abound online, but most of them just aren’t that good. The main problem is that they tend to be too sweet. This year, I decided to try out two new recipes, hoping that at least one of them would be good.
The result? Success! The first recipes below was delicious – not too sweet at all. My husband thought it tasted more like a beef gravy than a chiken or turkey gravy, but also liked the flavor. The recipe includes Marmite which I’ve never used before, but was easy enough to find at the local grocery. If you use regular vegetable stock, it’s definitely worth the addition. However, I normally use Better than Bouillon Low Sodium Vegetable Base which has a very similar savory, yeasty flavor. I would still add the Marmite if I had some on hand, but I wouldn’t buy it just for this recipe. Instead, I’d substitute an extra 1/2 tsp of the vegetable base.
The second recipe failed on the same point that most others have – it was too sweet. The flavor was nice, but seemed more appropriate as a dipping sauce for spring rolls than as a gravy.
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