Roasted Asparagus with Cheese

For you Canadians out there, don’t forget to VOTE! █♣█

The Pie and I took Easter easy this year, and it was just the two of us (well, plus Gren), so we kept Easter dinner simple.  We had a maple-glazed ham, creamy garlic mashed potatoes, crisp mashed rutabaga, and roasted asparagus with cheese and bread crumbs.

Now of course you all know how to keep asparagus nice and crispy.  Today I’m going teach you a new trick.

The bottom ends of asparagus are woody and tough, and need to be removed before cooking.  To do this, all you have to do is bend the asparagus until it snaps.  I was doing this with one hand so I could photograph it and the stalks were flying across the room.

The natural breaking point for asparagus is where the tender bit meets the tough bit, so it saves you the guess work.  Tada!

Place your newly cropped asparagus in a roasting pan.  I used about 1/2lb asparagus.

Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Shake the pan from side to side to coat the stalks.

Roast for 10-15 minutes at 425°F until the stalks are tender-crisp.  Toss with a few tablespoons bread crumbs

… and grated cheese (your choice).

And serve.

Lemon Roasted Potatoes

This is pretty much the same recipe as the Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary and Sea Salt, but with lemon rind and herbes de provence instead of rosemary.  Easy peasy.

So you take your potatoes.  We used baby white ones.  A couple pounds’ worth.

Parboil them. 

Remove the rind from two lemons.  I used a zester designed to take off long threads of peel, for visual stimulus.  Also if you’re going to roast it for a while it’s going to shrink and get all black, so you might as well make sure that you have lots of it to start with.

Toss your parboiled potatoes with olive oil, then add the lemon rind and herbes du provence.  Add in a bit of sea salt as well.

Roast at 350°F for about 45 minutes until wrinkled and crispy.  You can also roast them at the same time as other things at lower temperatures (such as a Thanksgiving turkey) — just roast them for longer.

They’re also wicked good cold the next day, or sliced up and tossed into scrambled eggs.

Roasting Red Peppers

Roasting your own red peppers is super easy, and it fills the house with the most amazing aromas.

Set your oven to broil (that’s when the burner on the roof of the oven goes instead of the bottom one).

I am used to roasting my peppers whole and then dealing with all the nonsense of soggy seeds later, but my mother showed me a new trick that makes doing it even easier.  She seeds and chops the peppers first, then bends the pieces so that they lie flatter against the baking sheet.  You can spray the sheet as well if you are concerned about sticking.Roast the peppers for about twenty minutes (depending on the heat of your broiler), or until the skins are bubbled and blackened.Before they have a chance to cool, chuck the whole lot into a brown paper bag and roll it up.  This will allow the steam from the hot peppers to ease off their own skins.Once the peppers have cooled, rip open the bag and peel off the skins, easy peasy.

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