April 18, 2012

Roasted Asparagus with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Last April I wrote about roasted asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Crisp-tender stalks of asparagus dripping in a luxuriously thick, lemony sauce. I can still practically taste it. Practically. Because I haven’t eaten it since then. One look at the ingredients and you’ll understand why. 4 egg yolks and 12 tablespoons of butter. Literally an annual (if that) indulgence.

So this year I decided to post a healthier asparagus recipe. This one is delicious too, but not as decadent. The asparagus is roasted again, just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasting caramelizes the asparagus in spots, giving it a really rich, sweet-savory flavor.

This time it’s topped with tarragon vinaigrette. Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs. It has a delicate licorice flavor that goes great with asparagus. (It also pairs really well with chicken and seafood.)

The vinaigrette is also no-fuss. Just toss the ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. Blending the ingredients rather than just whisking them together gives this vinaigrette a thick consistency that really sticks to the asparagus.

This is a dish you can enjoy more than once a year!

Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet.

Roast until asparagus is tender and browned in spots.

Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender jar.

Puree until smooth.

Arrange asparagus on a platter.

Top with vinaigrette and a sprinkle of tarragon leaves. 

Roasted Asparagus with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Recipe adapted from HealthySeasonalRecipes

1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp champagne (or white wine) vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp chopped tarragon, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1.    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.    Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place asparagus on baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp-tender.

3.    Meanwhile, combine shallot, olive oil, vinegar, honey, tarragon, Dijon, salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until smooth.

4.    Arrange asparagus on a platter. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with remaining chopped tarragon.

Serves  2

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