It’s getting to be that time of year, when things are coming up fresh and verdant. The asparagus spears will soon be sprouting up in the garden, or in my supermarket “garden”. The nice fat spears are calling my name, they’re on sale and baby, The Goddess is buying! This “dish” is just stupid easy and delicious. So that’s a win-win. It’s great hot, but I loved it at room temp, too. Choose a bleu cheese that’s on the dry side and sharper is better. Having said that, I truly love bleu cheese that has a bite to it, but choose what is your preference. You can use good Parmesan, Asiago or Manchego—any other really good quality dry-ish cheese for this.
When I cook the asparagus, my two favorite options are to “steam” them in the microwave or roast them in a hot oven. First, wash the spears, shake them off a bit and proceed from there. If you’re going to nuke them, place them on a microwave-proof plate. I cover the plate with plastic wrap, venting the sides ever-so slightly. I cook the spears for 3-5 minutes. But, that depends on the size of the spears, how many you’re cooking and what the wattage is on your microwave. I remove the dish from the microwave and let them stand for about 3-4 minutes before topping with the cheese. There is usually a bit of water that accumulates, so I drain that off, before I top with the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When I roast the asparagus, I place the rinsed spears in a skillet, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 425°F for about 6-8 minutes. As you know, I adore citrus, so I sprinkle some finely grated orange and lemon zest over the spears, toss them to mix well, then into the hot oven to become their most delectable.
In either case, when you are ready to serve, grate the cheese over the hot spears. The spears need to be hot, so the cheese will melt just slightly and the flavor will blossom. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; serve.
Steamed (or Roasted) Asparagus with Bleu Cheese
- 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and rinsed
- 2-4 tablespoons finely grated dry bleu cheese
- Olive oil (for roasted asparagus)
- Freshly grated orange or lemon zest (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (optional)
To cook the asparagus: To “steam” in the microwave—Wash the spears, shake them off a bit, then place them on a microwave-proof plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap, venting the sides ever-so slightly. Cook the spears for 3-5 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the spears, how many and what the wattage is on your microwave. Remove the dish from the oven; let stand for about 3-4 minutes before serving. If any water that has accumulated; carefully drain the water.
To roast the asparagus—place the rinsed spears in a skillet, drizzle with olive oil and toss. Roast at 400°F for about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
When you are ready to serve, place the spears on a serving plate. Grate the cheese over the hot spears. Squeeze with lemon, if desired and serve. The hot spears will melt the cheese just slightly.
NOTE: I add the grated orange or lemon zest to the spears when I roast them, but not when I nuke them.
Steamed (or Roasted) Asparagus with Bleu Cheese Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
This takes no time to prepare and would be lovely on your Easter table. Feel free to add a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Place a dollop of the Creamy Horseradish-Mustard Sauce on the plate to dip the spears in or drizzle the Creamy Citrus Dressing from the Broccoli Slaw over the spears…either option is spectacularly delicious. You can’t go wrong!