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Asparagus with Red Pepper Dressing

Make a roasted red pepper and oregano sauce to enhance the flavor of fresh asparagus. It’s the perfect side dish for grilled meats, or serve it over cooked grains or pasta for a delicious vegetarian main course.

Asparagus with Oregano and Red Pepper

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled soft goat cheese

Instructions

  • In blender, combine bell peppers, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add olive oil in a steady stream. (This pepper dressing can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of time. Cover, refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before serving.)
  • Break off tough ends of asparagus and discard. If desired, use a vegetable peeler and peel asparagus from just below flowering top to the end.
  • Fill a skillet with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat; add the asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and run the asparagus under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Arrange the asparagus on a platter or divide among 4 plates. Drizzle each serving with about ¼ cup dressing and sprinkle with goat cheese.
  • Used with permission from SPLENDID SALADS, Cooking Club of America
Asparagus with Oregano and Red Pepper Recipe
Asparagus with oregano and red pepper.

Featured Ingredient: Asparagus

With its mild flavor and bright green color, asparagus will liven up almost any plate. What you may not realize about asparagus is that it's quite full of sugars when it's first harvested, but those sugars quickly begin to break down after harvest, turning each stalk from sweet to starchy and bland if you wait too long to eat it. If you love eating asparagus, growing your own is the best way to experience the finest flavor with the freshest harvest. Unlike most vegetables, asparagus plants are perennial, which means the same plants grow in your garden year after year. Learn how to grow your own asparagus.

asparagus spears poke through the garden soil
Asparagus shoots pop through the soil in spring. Stalks are ready to harvest when they are about 8 inches tall and thicker than a pencil. Asparagus is best eaten fresh from the garden.