We all know that asparagus makes your pee stink (peeuw!) but did you know that it's low in calories, heart healthy and contains glutathione (a powerful cancer fighter)? Additionally, asparagus only has about 4 calories a spear and zero fat. It also provides 60% of your daily RDA of folic acid and is high in fiber. You just can't go wrong with this green stuff and there's so many ways to prepare it. You can grill it, roast it, throw it in frittatas, make it into soup, wrap it in bacon...man, the list just goes on. There's even a festival in it's honor- The Asparagus Festival, which is going to be happening this coming weekend in Stockton. I've heard they'll be serving up asparagus ice cream and deep fried asparagus as well as other asparagus dishes. Asparagus ice cream...hmmmm, wonder what that tastes like? Anyhow, in the spirit of the asparagus season, I decided to roast some asparagus tonight; but instead of our usual garlic and lemon spears, I decided to change things up a bit. This recipe from The Simple Lens had caught my eye recently...maple roasted asparagus with pecans, how good does that sound? The only thing that could make the recipe more amazing--- candied pecans!
Maple Roasted Asparagus with Candied Pecans (recipe adapted from The Simple Lens)
1 lb. asparagus
1/3 cup Trader Joe's candied pecans (or regular pecans will work too), roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of real maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Wash asparagus, snap off the woody ends. Chop pecans. You can use regular pecans for this recipe but the candied pecans sold in the nut aisle at Trader Joe's are frickin' awesome. If you're there, pick up a bag...you can use them in all kinds of dishes. I throw mine into salads a lot and use them to top off cookies and cupcakes.
3. Toss the asparagus with the syrup, balsamic vinegar and pecans. Make sure the asparagus are coated well.
4. Place on a lightly oiled pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes in oven. Stir them up about halfway through the cooking period.
5. Serve hot.