Roasted Asparagus With Warm Bacon Shallot Vinaigrette

1 lb. asparagus – trimmed

 2 tsps. olive oil

 salt and pepper — to taste



 4 slices bacon or pancetta

 3 shallots — minced

 4 cloves garlic — minced

 4 tbsps. champagne or white wine vinegar

 juice of 1/2 lemon

 ½ tsps. sugar

 2 tbbsps. cilantro — minced

 ½ cup olive oil

 salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 475 F.

Spread cleaned and trimmed asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus until it is just tender when pierced with a fork, 8 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the spears.

For Vinaigrette:

Fry bacon in a pan over medium heat until thoroughly crisp and drain on paper towel. Crumble into small bits when cool. Reduce heat to medium, add shallots and sauté until limp and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and parsley and simmer for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and heat it through. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper, and stir in crumbled bacon.

Arrange asparagus on a serving platter and spoon the dressing over. Peel the eggs, if using, and press them through a medium sieve or grate on the smallest blade of a cheese grater. Sprinkle over asparagus and serve immediately.

Vinaigrette can be made 2 to three days ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator.

NOTES: TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL…Whether or not to peel asparagus is roughly a matter of preference. Some methods claim that peeling asparagus allows both the stalks and the tips to cook in the same amount of time. Others suggest peeling asparagus to remove any tough spots.

PREPARING ASPARAGUS…Trim asparagus; gently bend each stalk and the woody end will break off in just the right spot. Wash in ice water and remove any tough spots with a vegetable peeler, if desired.

ASPARAGUS TRIVIA…DID YOU KNOW…. The name Asparagus is derived from the Greek language meaning “Sprout” or “Shoot” and is a member of the lily family. Not only is Asparagus delicious it also has great nutritional benefits being an excellent source of Folacin as well as Vitamin C, Thiamin and Vitamin B. Enjoy!

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