Every year asparagus season rolls around. And every year finding the first stalk peering cautiously above ground is like getting an early Christmas present. That moment came and went, as golden and fleeting as a first kiss. But, to my dismay, our patch has been pretty low-yielding so far this season.
We keep our garden and yard pretty lax most of the year. So our asparagus patch is, um, mostly violets at this point. Our asparagus crowns (the deep roots) are at least four years old by this point. So we should be getting fat aspara-guys on the daily. But it’s been pretty dry in Virginia. Alas, asparagus and mushroom foragers alike are pouting hard right about now. Morrel season was a total bust, too. So, no vegan pizza with wild mushrooms and foraged asparagus for me. It’s a pity party up in here and you’re invited.
So all of the wispy asparagus I have harvested from my asparagus bed have gone straight into my mouth. No dressing. Hell, I don’t even wash them. I practically eat them while they’re still in the earth.
Needless to say, I’m in full on asparagus ravaging mode. I went shopping on 4/20 and… no I wasn’t stoned. 😉
There in the featured seasonal produce section by the front door was a huge pile of sparkling, dewy purple asparagus. Guess what they were called.
And I was just like c’moooooon I can’t not!
Those babies were destined to meet the sweet steamy kiss of my 400 degree oven. Followed by a slathering in romesco.
I’ve had this romesco sauce on the brain for weeks. I made a soup a while back — tomato based with lentils, spinach and coconut cream — and I added almond butter to the base. It was DOPE. This is how I knew I had to get some relatively more legit and traditional romesco in my life.
I found a great recipe from Lindsay Love (aka Dolly and Oatmeal) via Food52. The heart of that sauce is roasted red peppers, toasted nuts and tahini. But I did a little riff and jig with it. I added blackened roasted cherry tomatoes. And, to make it super simple & ensure creaminess, I used almond butter instead of toasted nuts. Plus a little bit of smoked paprika for depth.
All in all, this roasted asparagus with romesco and lentils is easy, exploding with flavor and hearty as hell. Especially if you serve it over a grain of some sort — I ate it with cooked sprouted brown rice and it was super filling. There’s almost no other way I want to eat asparagus right now, beyond raw or woven into a sexy pizza situation. The coconut-oil roasted asparagus is so buttery and sweet I could DIE.
Enjoy and leave me a comment if you make this recipe! As always, tag your creations and variations #willfrolicforfood so I can see!