Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Roasted Veggies- Apsaragus Like You've Never Seen it Before!

Roasted Asparagus and Fennel

Roasted Vegetables:
1 Fresh Fennel Bulb cored and thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 pound asparagus, stemmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Cooking Spray

For Dressing:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp minced or pressed garlic
1/4 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp (sea) salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Top with:
¼ cup Feta cheese crumbles
12 Kalamata olives, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. With cooking spray, lightly oil a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.

2. Place the fennel, onions, and asparagus on the baking pan in a SINGLE LAYER, spray generously with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.

3. Roast uncovered for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes or so. The vegetables should be still be a bit crisp and the asparagus should still be bright green.

4. While the vegetables roast, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

5. Combine in a bowl and toss roasted vegetables and dressing, add toppings. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6

Nutrition:
117calories, 6.5g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 3.5g protein, 13g carbs, 4g fiber, 1133 IU Vit A, 22mg Vit C, 1.5mg Vit E

Fennel is a large celery-like mildly licorice-tasting vegetable bulb. It's also good fresh in salads. In the store, it will probably be in its whole form, with the large bulb on the bottom, some stalks sticking out of it, and fronds on the top. The bulb is the most edible part-- you can chop it up up and eat all of it roasted or fresh. The stalks are pretty tough and most people throw those out (or add them to a stock pot). The fronds (the green herby part), if they are still in good shape, can be chopped up and sprinkled on the top of the roasted veggies after the dressing is added.

Asparagus should be stored upright and in water. If you see it in the grocery store any other way, do NOT buy it-- several of the bottom will be too dry and tough to eat! Stemming the asparagus means taking off the hard, more lightly colored bottom end.

Roasted vegetables must be placed on a pan or cookie sheet in a single layer, with a little room to be spread apart from one another. If the veggies heaped in a pile, they will be steamed and have dull flavor. Roasting, which is a dry heat method, is an especially tasty way to generate flavor in vegetables without adding piles of fat and calories (this means YOU cheese sauce lovers)!

If you want to lighten the dish a little more, I would suggest scrapping olive oil, reducing the lemon juice by 1 Tbsp, and adding a Tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Additionally, reduced-fat feta may be used in place of the regular feta. Fat-free feta "cheese" is just nasty-- you'd be better off plain. Alternatively, the feta can be replaced with two tablespoons of romano or a few chunks of babybel light garlic herb cheese :-)

Roasted red bell peppers or mushrooms are a great addition to this recipes as well!

3 comments:

JC said...

AWESOME

I used to make spicy asparagus + shrimp dish.

Jean Jitomir MS, RD said...

Do tell!

Sildenafil said...

Incredible recipe and very healthy, specially because of the asparagus, I love it, I'll encourage my children to eat such as delicious recipe.