Although we were teased with daffodil sprouts earlier this week and the calendar said it was the first day of Spring, this is what we woke up to.
No, it didn’t last long, but that is hardly the point.
What I needed was asparagus
I decided I needed asparagus. I knew I had two bags stashed in the freezer, and this was just as good a time as any to retrieve them. I hesitate to buy fresh asparagus that is shipped from other countries at this time of year. It is always disappointing flavor wise. However, frozen asparagus if tucked away at its peak is quite delicious and certainly will satisfy a craving.
With a little comfort as well
Potatoes are comfort food to me, so they had to provide the base, and what is better than serving them roasted? I peeled the potatoes because they were full of eyes, but if your potatoes are nice and firm and without eyes, go ahead and roast them unpeeled, just check and make sure at this time of year that they haven’t developed a green layer just under the skin which can be unpleasantly bitter and may upset your digestion.
I decided to make a warm side dish that I could use cold later in the week. My husband turned this into a lunch by adding a triple-yolked, fried egg today!
Some nuts, dressing ingredients from the pantry including new maple syrup, herbs from the windowsill, and I was all set. The exact measurements are not necessary in this, use what you have on hand or what needs to be used up, that’s what I did, that’s what we are all doing right now and coming up with some wonderful dishes.
This got a thumbs up from all, and I will keep it in my repertoire!
Roasted Asparagus and Potatoes with Maple Dijon Sauce
- 1/4 cup toasted cashews, or other nut
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb. or so frozen or fresh asparagus
- 3 or 4 potatoes
- 1 large sweet onion
- Salt and pepper
- 1 heaping tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 heaping tbsp. dark maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp. cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. fruity olive oil
- 1 tbsp. rosemary, minced, or other herb
- 1 tbsp. parsley, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Toast your cashews in a dry pan. Don’t walk away from them, and keep the pan moving. This only takes a few minutes.
Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, remove the top and bottom of the onion and slice it from pole to poe.
Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil. Remove the frozen asparagus from its packaging, separate the spears, and add it in a single layer at one end and the pan. If using fresh, just cut off the tough bottoms and add to the sheet. The asparagus won’t take as long to cook as the potatoes and onions, so you want them separate from the rest. Sprinkle on a light touch of salt and pepper at this point.
Place the potatoes and onion on the other end of the pan.
Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes and check the asparagus. If it is cooked through and at the texture you like, remove it from the pan, or return to the oven. Once cooked, slice the asparagus on the diagonal into pieces about 3/4 of an inch long, and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Continue roasting the potatoes and onions, turning once or twice, until they are browned and fragrant, ab out 20 minutes more depending on your oven.
While the vegetables are cooking, mix together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Once all the vegetables are done, add them to the bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and correct.
Plate and garnish with the nuts.
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