Jon loves to make fun of me every time I cook vegetables, asking if I’m going to roast them again. The truth is I find boiling and steaming vegetables too boring. I know the benefits of steaming vegetables are unbeatable and that no other cooking method — besides eating them raw — will give you as much nutrients. Maybe it’s the smokey flavor or the golden crispiness, but there’s something about roasting vegetables that makes me even fall in love with produce that I never particularly liked, such as asparagus.
Now that I’m all into cooking with seasonal produce, I decided to buy a bunch of gorgeous white asparagus last weekend. The Swiss simply adore asparagus, piling them up at the supermarket as soon as the vegetable is back in season in April. We have three varieties here — green asparagus, what I like to call baby asparagus due to their smaller size, and white asparagus. The main difference between the green and white varieties is the fact that white asparagus is deprived of light while growing and therefore can’t produce any chlorophyll which gives plants their green color. White asparagus are also more tender and milder than green asparagus, making them the better choice for a girl like me who doesn’t particularly fancy asparagus.
Little did I know that asparagus required so much prepping…it takes at least 15 minutes to peel through each stalk and trim the ends, leaving only the tips intact; especially when you’re dealing with huge asparagus like we have here in Switzerland. But once all the prepping is over the rest is rather straightforward and simple — roast them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper at 390°F/200°C for about 30 minutes until they are golden and easily pierced with a fork. The time spent peeling my asparagus was well worth the effort once we tasted the result. I chose to drizzle a mustard vinaigrette over them, mixing in some dill — a herb I’ve grown so deeply fond of thanks to its powerful aniseed aroma.
- 500g white asparagus
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried dill, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup olive oil
- Pinch of fleur de sel, to taste
- Pinch of black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 390°F/200°C.
- Peel the asparagus and trim the ends. Place them side-by-side in a baking pan and drizzle olive oil over them. Season to with salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until soft and golden.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the roasted white asparagus when hot or at room temperature. Serve warm or at room temperature with a bit of vinaigrette on the side.
How did your roasted asparagus with mustard-dill vinaigrette come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania