Oven Roasted Asparagus

Because it's summer I've decided to step out of the kitchen for long periods of time and enjoy the warm weather. You've probably noticed my posting has become a little sporadic because of it, but I do have a new recipe for you today. It's quickly become my favorite way to serve asparagus since it produces perfectly cooked spears with the minimal amount of effort. That means I can kick back with my feet up, soak up some summer sun, and read a salacious romance novel without feeling the slightest tinge of guilt about my lackadaisical lifestyle.

If you're not an asparagus fan, but still want something green and tasty in your life you'll want to try our recipe for Parmesan Garlic Green Beans. Your mouth will thank you, trust me!

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Oven Roasted Asparagus
makes 4 - 6 servings

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, fresh
1 Tablespoon lemon infused olive oil (see notes)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons parmesan, freshly grated
sea salt, to taste 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Rinse spears under cool water before removing the tough portion of the stalks. If you aren't sure how much to trim your asparagus, take the stalk, hold it towards the end and bend. It should easily snap off the dry, woody end.
  • Place on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add minced garlic, then toss the spears until they're well coated.
  • Sprinkle with fresh parmesan, add salt to taste, and bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or longer for thicker stalks.

Notes

Thick or thin, which asparagus should you use? For this recipe I prefer thicker stalks. The thin, early spring varieties tend to over cook quickly in the oven. You can still use think stalks, but you'll want to reduce the baking time and watch the oven carefully. Nobody likes mushy, overcooked asparagus!

  • If you can't find lemon infused olive oil you can purchase it online (we love the Lucero Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil our friends gave us a few weeks ago.) Otherwise, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over your stalks and once the asparagus is done baking squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top.

 

Disclosure

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

 

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who appreciates green beans. They're one of my favorite vegetables, so it always makes me sad when people turn their noses up at them. I know a surprising number of people who won't touch them with a ten foot pole, they automatically assume the only way to serve green beans is how we had them in grade school, mushy and tasteless. When I make these I like to leave them just a little bit crunchy, then add some olive oil, garlic, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese. When prepared this way you have a side dish worthy of a holiday meal, yet easy enough for a busy week night. With this recipe mushy and tasteless green beans are a thing of the past.

ParmesanGreenBeans.jpg

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
serves 4 - 6

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh green beans
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove fresh garlic, minced
½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

  • Rinse green beans thoroughly in cold water and snap off ends. Make sure the green beans are fairly uniform in size so they cook evenly. I like to leave mine whole, but you can also snap the bean into smaller pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add green beans, and cook for 4-5 minutes. This will leave the green beans fairly crunchy. If you want softer green beans boil them slightly longer, just make sure they don't turn mushy.
  • Drain green beans and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
  • In a skillet over medium-low heat add olive oil, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic, cook for 2 - 3 minutes, but do not let garlic brown. 
  • Turn off heat, add green beans and sea salt, then stir well to coat beans. 
  • Top with freshly shredded parmesan cheese just before serving. 

Caramelized Onion Dip

I'm not a huge football fan, which is why I completely forgot that the Super Bowl was this weekend. I had originally made plans to go out thrift store shopping with a friend, but someone pointed out that my culinary talents were needed and instead I'll be home cooking up a storm for everyone who will be here watching the game. We'll be having home made pizza and potato skins, but no gathering complete without my absolute all time favorite party food, onion dip. I'm not sure what it is about onion dip that makes it so addictive, but I can easily put away an entire batch by myself. This version may be more complicated than opening up a container of sour cream and adding a packet of onion soup mix, but the complex flavors that the caramelized onions add are definitely worth the extra time and effort. Whether you're planning a party or watching the game by yourself, this dip is sure to be a hit.
Caramelized Onion Dip
makes approximately 16 servings 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or two medium yellow onions
2 cups sour cream
2 cups Kraft mayonnaise with olive oil
 teaspoon dried minced garlic
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Thinly slice yellow onions and place in a cast iron skillet with butter to caramelize. When finished set aside to cool before continuing on.

For detailed directions on how to caramelize onions, visit our instruction guide here

  • Once the onions have cooled, place in a blender or food processor and pulse several times. 
  • Add sour cream, mayonnaise, dried minced garlic, sea salt, and black pepper and pulse until well combined.
  • Place in a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours to give the flavors time to combine.
  • Serve chilled with pita chips, potato chips, or veggie sticks. Enjoy!