Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Roasted Green Asparagus with Brown Sauce

Green asparagus is another spring vegetable that is popular at my house. I like buying the thicker spears for roasting, while the thin ones are great raw in a salad.

Growing up in France, I was familiar with the white kind that you steam and serve with a vinaigrette as an appetizer. I didn't discover green asparagus until I came to the United States. At first, I found them a little bitter for my taste, until someone recommended I spray them with olive oil and salt and roast them in the oven. I was hooked!

Don't skip the brown sauce: it will take the asparagus from simple to incredible! The complex combination of flavors (nutty from the browned butter, sweet from the sugar, sour from the balsamic vinegar and salty from the soy sauce) may sound weird but trust me, this sauce tastes fantastic. A little goes a long way: I usually drizzle half on the asparagus and half on whatever I am serving along (wild rice, polenta, grilled fish or poultry).

These asparagus truly have that “wow” factor you want for a special occasion. Think perfect side dish for Easter!

Makes 6-10 servings
  • About 2 pounds green asparagus spears, trimmed = 900 g d'asperges vertes, talons coupés
  • Olive oil (in a mister) = huile d'olive (dans une bouteille-spray)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt = ¼ cuillère à café de gros sel
  • 2 tablespoons butter, diced = 30 g de beurre, coupé en dés
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce = 2 cuillères à café de sauce soja
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar = 1 cuillère à café de vinaigre balsamique
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar = 1 cuillère à café de cassonade

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly spray some olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes, until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Return to low heat and let it thicken a bit, whisking a few times .

Drizzle sauce over asparagus and serve immediately. Enjoy!