Sunday, June 12, 2011

Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts and Gruyere

I love roasted vegetables - especially asparagus. In this recipe, roasted asparagus spears are dressed up with luscious Gruyere cheese and crunchy pine nuts for an easy gourmet side dish.


2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 pound fresh asparagus (medium or thick spears; not too thin)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over low to medium-low heat for few minutes until lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rinse the asparagus and break off the tough ends. (If you hold the asparagus spear at each end and bend it slightly, it will break at the right spot.) If using thicker spears, trim off the larger buds near the bottom of the stalk as desired.

Line up the asparagus spears in a single layer in a baking dish or roasting pan.

Drizzle the asparagus lightly with the olive oil, turn to coat, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle the Gruyere down the center of the row of asparagus, distributing the cheese on the stalks but not the tips.

Roast for about 6-14 minutes, until the asparagus are tender when pierced with a fork, but still firm, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. The roasting time will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears.

Sprinkle with the pine nuts, and serve immediately.

-- 4 servings

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