Roasted asparagus is one of my very favorite ways to eat my veggies. I wanted to step it up a bit this time and make it more into a meal, so I browsed around the Cooking Light website for a bit of inspiration, and found this recipe for Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes. The recipe was not quite what I had in mind, they blanched the asparagus, used goat cheese as a topping (I was in the mood for blue cheese) and due to the different cooking method I planned to use the dressing would differ. Their version is lower in fat, if that is a priority for you, you may prefer theirs. I personally wanted the fat there to make this more satisfying as a light vegetarian entree.
The crumbled blue cheese added a nice contrast to the dish, and elevated the simple roasted vegetables to a full fledged appetizer or light entree.
The roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic and fresh thyme added both sweetness and a little tang from the tomato. This would have made a nice topping for bruschetta or fish on it’s own.
- 1 standard bunch of asparagus
- 2 Campari tomatoes (or equivalent quantity of other small tomato variety)
- ⅓ cup sliced and quartered white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 tbs fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 tbs olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- ½ tbs balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut off ends of asparagus removing any "woodiness". Quarter the tomatoes (if using cherry or grape varieties just cut in half).
- Put the asparagus, onion, garlic and thyme in a mixing bowl wide enough to accommodate the asparagus*
- Drizzle on the oil and vinegar & sprinkle on the salt. Mix to coat.
- Remove asparagus to roasting pan, then put tomatoes in bowl. Gently mix, just enough to coat, taking care not to break up tomatoes. Add them to roasting pan. Pour any juices left in bowl over the top.
- Roast for 10 minutes, then turn the vegetables, and roast an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before plating.
- Sprinkle with blue cheese and drizzle a little olive oil on top, then finish with a few grinds of fresh pepper.
*If preparing for those on gluten-free diet, check the blue cheese labeling, artisinal brands often start the mold in the traditional method using bread. Look for gluten-free brand or swap with crumbled feta, Romano or goat cheese.