Making this roasted asparagus taught me a lot of important lessons. One is that it’s possible to make an entire dinner while having an hour-long catch up session on the phone. Another is that you should never, ever try to remove a baking sheet with cherry tomatoes from the oven while holding a phone in one hand. It seemed like it would work at the time…
Anyway. All’s well that ends well. The lemon, garlic and coconut oil mixture that I put on the asparagus brought out its flavor. And the vegan romesco sauce is delicious; I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. I hate to admit it, but a small part of me still distrusts vegan sauces.
This one did not disappoint, though. It’s slightly spicy and packs a lot of flavor. The charred red pepper and tomatoes gives it a smoky taste.
I added some French lentils on top and sliced cherry tomatoes for color. This is the kind of dish that you’ll eat with your eyes, first.
Here’s a song I’ve been jamming out to on this rainy morning in D.C. I’m going to stop now before I start ranting about the weather. But to give you an idea of how it’s been here, The Washington Post Express just ran an article explaining what the sun is to readers. Not a fan.
Roasted Asparagus with Vegan Romesco Sauce (slightly adapted from Will Frolic for Food)
for the asparagus:
2 lbs asparagus
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
for the romesco sauce:
1 red pepper, halved
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or any low-water tomato like Roma)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons almond butter
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt + more to taste
2 cups cooked french lentils (cook according to your preference)
to serve: 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut of the hard ends of the asparagus. Then spread the asparagus out on the baking sheet. Toss with the melted coconut oil, lemon, minced garlic, pepper and salt. If you’re asparagus is cold from the fridge, work quickly as the coconut oil will solidify. Pop the asparagus in the oven and cook for 18 mins or until fork tender and beginning to crisp. Then remove from the oven and cover until ready to serve.
To make the sauce, set the oven to broil. Line another large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set your peppers and tomatoes on the baking sheet. Broil for 3-5 minutes, flipping the pepper halves every 30 seconds until the outsides start to blacken. The tomatoes will pop and start to blacken. One the pepper is blackening on the outside, remove the veg from the oven. Place the pepper in a bowl and cover with a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off of the red pepper and remove the green top, seeds and white pith. Add the pepper to the bowl of a high powered blender along with the tomatoes, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, almond butter, garlic, smoked paprika and salt. Blend until creamy.
To serve, spread your asparagus out on your plates, top with lentils, romesco sauce and sliced tomatoes. Enjoy!