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Is this a salad or is it considered more of  a vegetable side dish?  I’ll let you decide when you make it.  This is definitely my kind of weeknight side dish (seems I’ve already decided it’s not a salad)…a vegetable roasting in the oven, while I finish the rest of the dinner or help with homework.  The citrus vinaigrette gives the roasted asparagus a vibrant finish, although I’d totally eat the asparagus without it.

I spent years hating asparagus back when I was on my no-vegetable kick as a child.  I’d be the one still sitting at the table with the vegetables sitting in the plate (the kitchen would have been cleaned an hour ago) and everyone in my family would be going about their business post-dinner while I was left staring at my plate and trying to coax the family poodle (she was nuts) to saunter over so I could slip her some lima beans under the table.  She was much too smart for lima beans or whatever else I was trying to pass off to her.

These days though, I can’t get enough of vegetables especially roasted vegetables.

So here we go.  After you’ve washed and trimmed 1 lb of asparagus.  Line them up on a baking sheet and drizzle them with a 1/2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil.

Sprinkle them with Kosher or other coarse salt and then use your hands to toss them in the olive oil so that it’s well dispersed prior to putting them into your preheated oven.  Roast the asparagus for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Mine took closer to 20 minutes.

While the asparagus is in the oven, zest the orange so that you have 1 tsp of orange peel.  To a jar with a tight-fitting lid add, 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp of cider vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, the orange peel and the juice from half of the orange.  Put the lid onto the jar and shake until combined.

Peel the remaining half of the orange and then slice.  I had a rather large orange so I was able to get about 6 slices from the remaining half.

After 20 minutes roasting, they still had their beautiful green color and were just fork tender.  Perfect for a salad (I mean side dish).

You can see the original recipe here.  Since I was the only one in our household who totally enjoyed this dish, I cut up the rest and served them with some tuna on a bed of mixed field greens with the remaining orange vinaigrette.  It made for a very tasty lunch this afternoon nearly all of the work was done yesterday.

Roasted Asparagus-Orange Salad

Adapted from a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, March 2012

Ingredients

1 lb green asparagus, trimmed

1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

a sprinkle of Kosher or other coarse salt

1 large orange

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place asparagus in a baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toss (I used my hands) to coat.  Roast, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until asparagus is crisp-tender, tossing once.

While the asparagus are in the oven, zest the orange so you have 1 tsp of peel; set aside.  Juice half of the orange.  Peel and slice the remaining half and set aside.  In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, orange zest and the fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Put the lid onto the jar and shake until combined well.

Place the asparagus onto a serving platter along with the orange slices.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the roasted asparagus.  Sprinkle with the crushed fennel seeds and serve.

Serves: 4

Kitchen Note: I cut this recipe in half and only used 1 lb of fresh asparagus.  However, I did not alter the quantity called for when making the vinaigrette.  You only used half of the prepared vinaigrette for the roasted asparagus and the other half may be used the next day on salad greens.

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