So you have the main course all figured out for Sunday night’s dinner. Some grilled chicken breast, a nice baked or blackened fish, or maybe a juicy roasted turkey breast (without the skin, of course!). The bread is all ready to be warmed in the oven, the salad’s tossed and even the dessert is chilling the fridge. What about the side dish to accompany all of this? Toss that can of green beans back in the cupboard and throw that bag of frozen mixed vegetables back into its icy lair and try something adventurous for a change!
The side dishes that accompany a great main course are just as important as the main course itself. They should compliment the rest of the meal and add flavor and zest right along with everything else on the plate. So what are you waiting for? Try one of these simple recipes that can be prepared and refrigerated ahead and popped in the oven 20 minutes before serving time. Your family will wonder how they ever made it through all of those cans of peas and boxes of instant mashed potatoes in the past…
Asparagus is a wonderfully nutritious vegetable that is exceptionally high in folic acid, low in calories (less than 4 calories a spear!), fat and cholesterol-free, and a significant source of fiber, potassium, thiamin, Vitamin B6. If that isn’t enough, it is also one of the richest natural sources of rutin, a substance that has been shown to strengthen the capillary walls of the body. So before you go and ruin all of this good stuff by slathering it with a fatty hollandaise sauce or melted butter, try this healthy recipe with herbs that bring out the natural flavor and goodness of this wonder vegetable! This recipe can also be prepared on the grill for any outdoor event.
Roasted Herbed Asparagus
1 pound of fresh asparagus, trimmed of tough bottom stems
1 large lemon
2 tblspns. of fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tblspn. of dried thyme
2 tblspns. of fresh rosemary sprigs, crushed, or 1 tblspn. of dried rosemary
3 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tblspns. of dry white wine
1 tspn. of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Tear off 4 squares of aluminum foil. Divide asparagus spears evenly among foil squares and fold up edges to “catch” any juices during the seasoning process. In a small mixing bowl, combine the juice of the lemon, the thyme leaves, the garlic, the wine and the olive oil and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour equal amounts of the mixture evenly over each asparagus bundle and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle each bundle to taste with salt and pepper. Wrap foil tightly around each bundle, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until crisp tender. Serve immediately.