1 bunch of prepared asparagus
1 pint of grape tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (use a vegetable peeler to shave it)
Before you can cook asparagus, you need to know how to prepare it. Here are some simple steps to perfect asparagus every time!
1) Pick quality asparagus at the store. We prefer the stalks that are not too thick or too skinny…usually about the size of pencil or maybe just a bit thicker. Check the tips of the asparagus for any mushy parts and avoid those bunches. Check the ends to make sure they are not too dried out.
2) Cut off the ends. We usually leave the asparagus in the rubber bands for easy cleanup. You’ll want to cut at least an inch off the bottom. The best way to know where to cut is to take one stalk be-tween the fingers of both of your hands and bend until it breaks. Where it breaks is the ideal spot to cut. It might seem like a waste but remember that asparagus grows in dry regions in sand and that bottom part is extremely tough. Get rid of it!
3) Rinse the asparagus.
4) Peel the ends, generally peel about the bottom half of the remaining stalk. This is time-consuming but it is amazing how much of a difference this makes. If you are crunched for time, skip this step but never skip it for company. You can do this in 1-2 days in advance of your meal.
5) If you have the time, let the asparagus soak in cold or icy water. This can be for 5 minutes or 2 days. Whatever time you devote to it, you will be rewarded with crisp and hydrated asparagus!
Now that you have properly prepared your asparagus, you are ready to finish the recipe!!
Top with whole grape tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Toss to coat. Add shaved Parmigiano Reggiano using a peeler. Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.
For more culinary tips and recipes, please visit www.mcnackskitchen.com.