Warm Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

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Even friends that told me asparagus is their least favorite vegetable have fallen in love with this recipe. Great summer side dish or main course for vegetarians.

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Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus, washed and ends snapped off
  • 1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves minced or jarred garlic equivalent
  • 1 Tbs. each fresh oregano and basil, finely chopped (or in spice jar – but fresh recommended)
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • crushed red chili flakes to taste
  • 1 jar roasted red pepper strips
  • 1 Cippolini onion, red onion or shallot finely chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 bricks Asiago cheese - shaved

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Directions

OVEN BROILER OPTION:

Trim bottom of asparagus stalks. Mix olive oil, balsamic, lemon, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, red chili and garlic in a large bowl. Add more oil or balsamic to your own taste. Bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch asparagus for 5-8 minutes and shock in cold water to keep crisp and green. Drain off excess water and pat asparagus dry. Toss asparagus with balsamic-olive oil mixture and place asparagus and mixture in a large Ziploc bag. Marinate for 1 hour (or even a day if you like). Transfer asparagus to a broiler-safe dish, laying stalks side by side. Drizzle some of the remaining mixture over the asparagus. Top sparingly with roasted peppers and onions, Drizzle with olive oil and broil for 5-15 minutes or until slightly golden and caramelized. Remove from heat and top with shaved Asiago cheese. Place back under broiler until melted.

GRILL OPTION (preferred):

Trim bottom of asparagus stalks. Mix olive oil, balsamic, lemon, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, red chili and garlic in a large bowl. Add more oil or balsamic to your own taste. If you like your asparagus on the softer side, blanch for 5-8 minutes in boiling water and shock in cold water. Drain excess water and toss with balsamic olive oil mixture. Place in a large Ziploc bag and marinate for a minimum of 1 hour. Spray a grilling basket with Pam cooking spray. Place red pepper strips on bottom of grilling basket so that the strips don't fall through the basket weave. Lay asparagus stalks side by side in basket and close basket. Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill asparagus/peppers using remaining mixture as basting sauce. Once grilled to your liking, open basket and turn peppers and asparagus onto a baking sheet so that peppers are now on top of asparagus. Rearrange as needed. Top with diced onion (optional) and shaved Asiago cheese. Place under broiler until melted.

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