Posted on: Thursday, January 8, 2009

Panko-Pecan Asparagus

Asparagus

Did You Know? Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10" in a 24-hour period, and will continue to produce spears for 15-20 years without being replanted.

We had some leftover breadcrumbs from a dinner my mom made the other day, so I thought I would put them to use in a quick side dish that would be a good addition to any meal. I used asparagus here, because if I kept it in the fridge any longer it would have gone bad, but I'm sure any vegetable would work. Broccoli is always nice with a little crunch, brussels sprouts (now that I've convinced you how tasty they are), potatoes (roasted or twice-baked), squash, any pasta dish (mac & cheese anyone?), you get the idea.

Usually I try to look for spears that are on the skinny side. I think they taste better and they crisp up a lot nicer, but they only had pretty thick ones at the grocery store, so that's what I ended up with. Anyways, this is a really simple dish, but the flavors are in no way lacking. I love the crunch that panko provides. They are a much needed upgrade from regular old crumbs. If you're not familiar with panko, they are a Japanese breadcrumb, with a much coarser texure than its Italian counterpart. The toasted pecan bits round everything out, giving this side a real roasted flavor. So if you're in need of something simple to finish off your next meal, I suggest you start here...


Panko-Pecan Asparagus


Panko-Pecan Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus spears (around 15 or so)
2 tablespoons walnut oil (feel free to use olive or grapeseed, I just took this whole dish down the nut route)
1/4 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoons dried parsley
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse asparagus under water, pat dry, and snap off the tough ends.

Arrange spears on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine panko, pecans, parsley, and a little more salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the panko-pecan mixture over the spears, and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. My asparagus was on the thick side, so I roasted mine for about 20 minutes. If yours are more slender, I would only do about 15 minutes or so.


21 comments:

  1. This crunchy roasted asparagus sounds good. Roasting asparagus is my favorites way of cooking it.

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  2. Mmmm...I love roasted asparagus! Those are some pretty interesting facts.

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  3. Love this one - would have never thought to combine all these great ingredients - Thanks for this.

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  4. I had no idea about the first fact-very interesting indeed! I agree Panko breadcrumbs are wonderful, just so jagged and crunchy!

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  5. that looks so good!!
    I've never heard of panko, does it taste very different from normal bread crumbs??
    By the way asparagus is awesome
    Have a great evening

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  6. Oh man I haven't had asparagus for ages! I need to buy some!

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  7. Panko is the best! I love the extra crisp it gives.. huge upgrade from regular breadcrumbs!!

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  8. What a creative idea!
    I think I might have added some cheese on top.

    The plate is so pretty!

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  9. I love that you give us a little history and facts.
    I'm not a big fan of asparagus, but I might like this one because of panko. Panko is soooo much better than bread crumbs.

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  10. Amira: Not too different, just a lot crunchier.

    Olga: I thought parmesan would be really tasty sprinkled on top before roasting, too. But I was trying to keep this one dairy-free.

    Dawn: I'm a huge fan of fun facts, so I like to include them in my posts. Try this with parmesan, too. You may like that addition a lot more as well, the cheese gets nice and golden and crispy.

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments, they keep me in the kitchen!

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  11. I love your facts! 10 inches in 24 hours? That's crazy!!

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  12. Yum! I love panko on asparagus, and actually make an appetizer that coats the asparagus with a mayonnaise/mustard sauce and then adds panko. But I've made it so many times, I'm trying this one next!

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  13. I love asparagus! Plus we still have them at the farmers market. I like the idea of the crunchy panko with them too.

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  14. Very original recipe and great idea for a different side dish. Thanks! Happy new year.

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  15. Stef: Thanks, fun facts are so interesting, aren't they?

    Andrea: That sounds so tasty, I bet a little grainy mustard mixed in to this would be wonderful. Or try a little parmesan, if you like it to stick.

    Esi: You're so lucky to have farmers markets still producing near you.

    Hillary: Thanks so much. Happy New Year to you as well!

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  16. I've never used panko on my asparagus before. I'm going to tuck this recipe away because come spring we have it coming out of our ears in our CSA basket. Thanks for a great idea on how to use them!

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  17. mmmm..these sound perfect and simple!

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  18. Wow that asparagus fact is so cool, I had no idea! These look great:-)

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  19. These look delish! I've been on an asparagus kick lately too :) I've been making Asparagus Almondine, but I can't wait to try your take with pecans and panko!

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  20. I bet the breadcrumbs make for great texture.
    Can't wait for asparagus to pop up around here.

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