Roasted Asparagus with Anchovy Panko-Garlic Topping

I was in the city yesterday meeting Mr. S. for a cappuccino and then off for a bit of retail therapy.   I mustn’t have been in the mood as nothing I saw grabbed me except for when it came to a bit of food shopping at Eataly.  It’s my favorite specialty shop in Manhattan showcasing all things Italian.  If you have never been, you’re missing out on quite an experience.  They offer hard-to-find Italian food items that other grocers don’t seem to have or carry on a regular basis and their market has housemade bread, pasta, mozzarella, gelato, and pastries.  Even if you don’t want to buy groceries here, it’s a great place to eat at one of their 9 restaurants.  Want to learn more about food?  Take a cooking class or dine at their monthly chef’s table and learn more about the regional cuisine as the chef prepares your meal.  It’s worth a visit even if only to walk around Eataly and take in all the sights and sounds.

Serves 6
adapted from Food & Wine

2 pounds asparagus
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
7 anchovy fillets in oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons lemon zest
juice of one lemon, for drizzling  

Preheat the oven to 425°. On a baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once, until golden and tender. 

 

Meanwhile, in a small pan, simmer the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil with the anchovies over moderate heat, stirring, until the anchovies dissolve. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the panko brad crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Transfer the roasted asparagus to a serving platter. Drizzle with lemon juice, top with the panko and serve.  

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Unbelievable flavors coming from this dish!  If it’s just the two of you, like it was for us, take only the amount of asparagus you’d eat and adjust the panko crumb mixture accordingly.  Enjoy!

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