I love to re-create a restaurant dish at home, don’t you? I mean, if you can make a $12 side dish at home, for pennies, don’t you do a little happy dance? I do! This crispy lemon asparagus is.that.dish.
I recently celebrated my birthday and since my parents were in town, we all went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants here in Dallas. Granted, I haven’t been to too many restaurants so my “favorites” is really limited…but we’ve been to this place before and their food and cocktails are really good. Being the asparagus nut that I am, I had to order the “crispy lemon asparagus” as soon as I saw it on the menu. Had I ordered 2 portions of this, I would have been good calling this dinner. It was just that delicious. (Well, that and a couple of cocktails.)
What else could I do but re-create this spectacular asparagus recipe at home. No, I didn’t get the actual recipe. This is my interpretation of what we had. I think it’s pretty darn close too. I’m sure I didn’t include the “generous” amount of butter that they used, but all the great flavors are still there.
I’m also going to show you a way to cook asparagus you maybe have never done before (thank you Alton Brown).
You’ve seen how much I like roasted asparagus. Well, I also steam those nubby green stalks. All you need to do is clean them up, cut off the woody bottoms, wet a double layer of paper towels and roll. No, not you…the asparagus in the wet paper towels. Drop ‘em on a plate and nuke ‘em for about 3 minutes on high. Dunzo! Oh, use plain white paper towels. Sometimes the inks they use on the paper towels get on the veggies and God only knows what’s in that stuff. So just use plain paper towels. Besides, no one is looking to see if your paper towel design matches your kitchen.
Since you’ll be cooking the asparagus in the microwave, you’re just going to be finishing it in the oven (to cook and crisp up the lemony goodness of the lemon part of this recipe). So I suppose it’s a bit like roasted asparagus…but not really. I think I’m not making sense anymore…..
I’m just going to get on with the recipe before I write something really stupid. Trust me on this…it’s delicious. My guess is that you’ll even convert some of “those people” who are asparagus averse, to actually eat this dish. Maybe make up an extra batch of lemony crispy crunchy for them.
- For the Asparagus
- 1 Pound Asparagus (cleaned and tough ends trimmed)
- Olive Oil
- For the Topping
- ¾ Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to tasted)
- 1 Tablespoon Melted Butter
- ¼ Cup Plain Yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon Coleman's Mustard (could also use Dijon)
- 1½ Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- For the Asparagus
- Unroll 2 full sheets of, plain white, paper toweling and wet it. Wring out any excess water.
- Lay out the paper toweling in a doubled up manner and add the asparagus to one end of the paper towels.
- Roll asparagus up in paper toweling, place on a plate and microwave, on high, for 3 minutes.
- Remove from microwave and place asparagus only (toss the paper towels) into a sided baking pan, brush with a bit of olive oil (so it doesn't dry out when roasting) and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
- For the Topping
- In a bowl, add the panko, lemon zest, pepper and melted butter. Then stir to combine thoroughly.
- In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, mustard, lemon juice and salt.
- Stir to thoroughly combine these ingredients. Once combined, pour into bowl of bread crumbs.
- Stir to make sure the topping ingredients are completely combined.
- Pour the topping over the asparagus and pop into the oven.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the topping is browned in spots and has dried out a bit.
- Remove from the oven and serve.
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