Spring has sprung which means you are going to be overloaded on leek frittatas, rhubarb compotes and asparagus up the wazoo. Don’t expect anything different here. I love seasonal veggies and fruits, mostly because while the rest of the nation is finally getting to break out of the house, Angelinos are dealing with the misery of May gray and June gloom. The dreaded two months of overcast skies where fresh vegetables are the only reminder that it’s spring for the rest of the world.
I overloaded on asparagus this weekend with two awesome recipes. This Parmesan crusted asparagus and another one I’ll spare you until next week.
This is the perfect lazy afternoon snack, which is exactly how these were consumed. I am a huge fan of dips and sauces. All my favorite foods (minus the margarita) involve the ability to dunk and this recipe is no different. I’ve paired these crisp and flavorful veggies with a savory caramelized shallot aioli; full of the rich flavor of caramelized shallots, the bold taste of blue cheese and a bright hint of lemon. It’s the perfect sidekick to asparagus and absolutely necessary if you ask me.
The asparagus came together rather quickly. Clean and snap off the ends, dunk in an egg wash, then in the batter, once again in the egg wash, and a final covering in the batter. I think it’s absolutely essential for the double coating. This ensures that your asparagus are completely covered with the cheesy-bread coating and you don’t end up with naked stalks.
Pop in the oven until golden brown and serve with your homemade aioli. And while I decided to serve them while watching an afternoon movie, these dressed up greens would be perfect as a dinner party appetizer or even as a side with your favorite main course.
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup flour
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat and wire rack in cooking spray and fit on top of a baking sheet.
- Wash and snap off the tough ends of each asparagus spear.
- On one plate, add the egg whites and lightly beat.
- On another plate combined the panko bread crumbs, flour and cheese. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Coat each asparagus spear with egg whites, then dip in the panko mixture (thoroughly covering) and repeat with the egg whites, then the panko mixture again.
- Lay each spear on the wire rack.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until asparagus coating is golden brown and crispy.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the shallot and saute until they have softened and browned slightly, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or so, but be careful to not let the garlic burn.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Combine all the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well.
- Add the caramelized shallots and garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.