Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar

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As far as favorite seasons go, spring has also played second fiddle to fall in my book. Mind you, up until this past year, I had lived in an area where spring was virtually nonexistent. In Tallahassee, we went straight from winter to disgustingly hot and humid. So in all reality, this might be my first ever true spring. Not that spring could ever match the excitement of fall holidays and the first fire in the hearth, but spring definitely has it’s own perks. There’s the definite warming of the air which signals the beginning of flip flop season. And there’s also the greening of the mountains, which turns the sepia color palette of winter into a vibrant landscape of greens and yellows. But the best thing of all about spring has to be the abundance of fresh produce!
As a vegetarian, my diet largely depends on what’s in season and in the dead of winter, I rely heavily on frozen and dried fruits and vegetables. So, you can imagine my glee when I walk into my favorite grocery store and find it bursting with (ripe!) strawberries and crisp asparagus. Yup folks, spring produce is here and I couldn’t wait to roast asparagus as soon as I brought home my first bunch of the season.
Roasting asparagus is easy! First, preheat your oven to a piping 425 degrees. Then wash and cut off the blunt ends of your asparagus. Put your washed asparagus spears in a baking dish and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. I also like to add a couple of cloves of minced garlic and make sure to season it well with salt and pepper. Give it a good mix so that the oil and garlic distribute evenly.
Then, just pop your baking dish in your preheated oven for 15 minutes or so, or until your asparagus starts to brown. When it’s ready, just drizzle it with a touch of balsamic vinegar and serve immediately. The roasting process brings out the sweetness of the asparagus, which is further highlighted by the vinegar. I seriously adore this dish. I generally double the amount that I normally would make for 2 people and even then I generally have to force myself to share with the Irishman.
Stay tuned for more spring recipes, but in the meantime, roast some asparagus tonight. Yum.
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