Baked Asparagus “Fries”

My UK relatives came to visit earlier this summer and as usual, my entire extended family tried their damnedest to shove as much food down Aunt and Uncle’s gullets as possible. Aunt and Uncle have admitted they long stopped trying to stay on their nice healthy diet and just pig out whenever they come to the States. I suspect they tell their kids, “Well, we’re visiting the Blossom family again. Time to pack our eatin’ clothes!”

We’ve also sold our family home and are getting ready to go back to apartment living. Which means no more back yard BBQs. We don’t have many BBQs, to be honest, but we do one every time Aunt and Uncle come to visit because that’s the only way we can host 30+ people at once in our tiny house.

And so we had our last family grill-out this past June. These things tend to be both meat-heavy and boring in terms of veggies. We usually just have a green Romaine salad with tomato, onion, cucumber, and sliced avocado. YAAAAAWN. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice salad, but I was craving something different.

Enter the humble asparagus. It took me a while to fall in love with this funny-looking perennial plant but when I did, I fell hard. I now love nice tender asparagus! Full of fiber, antioxidants, and folate, it’s enough to make anyone go yummmm.

Well, it’s enough to make you go, anyway. ๐Ÿ˜€

I decided to bread and then roast these spears, then make Hollandaise sauce for dipping.ย  Yeah, that’s right, that’s how I roll!

Before their visit to the oven

Breaded and baked asparagus

Baked Asparagus “Fries”

1 lb asparagus, trimmed of tough ends
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko or seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 TBS olive oil

Hollandaise sauce

Heat the oven to 425F. Generously grease two rimmed baking sheets with the olive oil.

Season both the flour and beaten eggs with the paprika, salt and pepper. In one plate or dish, place the flour. In another goes the beaten eggs. In a third plate, mix the panko and cheese together.

Dip an asparagus spear into the seasoned flour, then into the egg before coating with the panko. Place the breaded asparagus on the oiled baking sheet and repeat until all asparagus are coated. If you have an oil mister, mist a little olive oil over the vegetables and place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden and crisp.ย  I used bits of butter for this. ๐Ÿ˜€

If you want to do this on the grill, you can use disposable jelly roll pans (quarter-sheet sized) and place them in the grill. You can also fashion one out of heavy-duty foil. Just be sure there are rims to keep the asparagus from falling through the grate. Grill with the cover on for about 10 minutes.

Serve with Hollandaise sauce for dipping.

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