tasty asparagus oranges and pecans fresh from the farmers market
I’m always looking for new ways to fix vegetables. Different combinations, fun flavors and textures. My inspiration for this started at the farmers market over the weekend.
They had some beautiful asparagus displayed within arms reach of an avalanche of shallots and Florida citrus. Not an immediate “aha” moment, but an idea was percolating.
Asparagus is one of those versatile veggies — it’s great blanched or steamed with a light hollandaise or garlicky aioli. Scott likes to barbecue it and prides himself on getting those telltale grill marks on the spears without letting them slip through the grates. Roasting intensifies the flavor and is the ultimate in ease and convenience. That’s the direction I took for this dish.
Asparagus and shallots together isn’t anything earth shattering, but the addition of tangy-sweet orange and toasted pecans (you could use almonds or pistachios, too) is a fun departure from the everyday.
And best of all, everything is roasted together on the same baking sheet, which makes it easy to assemble on your average Tuesday night.
A light drizzle of citrus vinaigrette brightens the deep roasted flavor of the asparagus and I really like the crunchy toasted nuts.
I don’t follow any particular diet regimen, but this dish fits into most healthy eating plans. 🙂
- 1 pound asparagus spears
- 1 orange, zested and supremed -- see note below
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim ends of asparagus at their natural breaking point. Bend a stalk of asparagus until it breaks. Use the trimmed stalk as a guide to cut the rest of the asparagus in the same general place. Discard tough ends.
- Place the asparagus on a baking sheet. Add the shallots and pecans.
- Cut the supremed oranges into chunks and add them to the asparagus. Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus mixture and toss with your hands to coat. Spread the vegetables into a single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the vegetables and return them to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
- Combine the orange zest, dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until emulsified. Set aside.
- Arrange the asparagus spears on a platter. Top with orange and shallot mixture. Spoon the vinaigrette over the top of the asparagus and serve.
- To supreme citrus, use a sharp knife to cut the top and bottom of the fruit so that the pulpy flesh is exposed. Stand the fruit on one end and starting at the top cut the rind from the fruit to expose the flesh, following the natural contour of the citrus. Continue until all the white pith has been removed. Segment the fruit by slicing just inside the membrane on both sides of a segment and remove the fruit. Continue until the fruit is completely segmented. There's still juice in what remains of that orange, so squeeze it into the dressing for a little extra hit of citrus flavor.