Despite my affinity (in theory) for vegetables, getting them into me can sometimes be difficult. Veggies go bad faster than you can say “vegetable” sometimes and it can get frustrating. This, however, this recipe is sweet and salty AND chock full of vegetables, that rise as the star of this dish. It is exciting. It is exotic. And, it takes 20 minutes to prepare.
Here’s how it is done.
1. wash and break off the woody ends of asparagus. I prefer the skinny variety as they crisp nicely and maintain their crunch. Lay them out on foil on a baking sheet.
2. sprinkle or grind salt on top and then preheat the oven to 350F. 2. Assemble your accoutrements. Goat cheese, honey, pistachio (meats, as they are called – shelled and unsalted), balsamic glaze (this is from Trader Joe’s and instantly elevates and adds flavor to the dish), pitted medjool dates. 3. I used a toaster oven to honey roast the pistachios, about 2 cups for one bunch of asparagus. Drizzle honey criss-cross wise across the nut pile. I roasted them using the roast setting on the toaster oven for 10 min at 350. If you don’t have a toaster oven with this capacity, using the preheated oven is just fine. 4. While the pistachio is roasting with the honey, layer the other ingredients. Crumble goat cheese on top. 5. Slice about 10 dates into thirds and distribute them throughout. 6. Dot balsamic glaze throughout and sprinkle lemon juice (just a touch from half a lemon). 7. The nuts are done roasting, so take them out and sprinkle them on the asparagus. We are building a vegetarian masterpiece here, layer by layer. These taste SO good – you can also just have these for a snack. Who knew I liked pistachios like this?8. Drizzle olive oil across the asparagus.9. Into the oven for 10 min at 350F. 10. Serve warm, and with any light foods you desire, for lunch or dinner. These are ingredients you can feel pretty good about. You can serve the asparagus with cold cuts of meat and a cheese plate, with raviolis, with rice and fish, as some suggestions.