Last night I took a small step back into the kitchen after a couple of days off. Dad barbecued pork chops and I made some oven roasted asparagus. This particular goodie is courtesy of the one cooking class I’ve taken. A few years ago during my first summer in Oregon, I took a three-day cooking course at Sur La Table in downtown Portland (conveniently across the street from Powell’s City of Books!) as a birthday present.
It was billed as a knife skill course, which I am sure I gained something in, but really I was exposed to great food and got to meet Gina Bellman (Leverage and Coupling). In it, we made everything from poached sea bass with orange sauce to crème brûlée to this asparagus dish, albeit in a different form. Originally, the asparagus was roasted in the oven with cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced shallot, and mozzarella. Can you guess why I changed it? Most of the time I cook it now, it’s the asparagus on its own. Occasionally I make the effort of slicing the shallots and placing them on top of the spears. It’s been quite a while since I involved tomatoes, but the more I think about it, I want them to make an appearance the next time I make this.
For those of you interested, I take a bundle of asparagus, trim them of their harder ends and roll them in a little extra virgin olive oil. I season them with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and Italian herb seasoning. They roast at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, more or less depending on the spear thickness. I also turn them and move them around about half way through so that they evenly cook. When I add the shallot, I slice them about 1/4 inch thick and place them on top of the spears after a little seasoning, top them with their own small amount of oil and season it all up. The shallots on their own are pretty tasty. A bite of both is great. Try them out for yourself. What other flavors do you think would match well with this dish?