After what felt like the longest winter on the books, Spring has finally sprung and with it has come my favorite vegetable – asparagus! When I first met my husband, he wasn’t much of a vegetable guy. He considered iceberg lettuce to be a perfectly acceptable salad and the occasional baby carrot was about the extent of his veggie intake. Being a vegetarian at the time, I of course, was a totally different story. He was a good sport though, and gamely put up with my veggie loving self, eventually learning to eat and enjoy veggies, too. One of the earliest veggies I started to make for him (and a total staple in our house now) was asparagus. It’s fantastic simply roasted with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. It’s also great when dressed up a little, like in our all new recipe for Asparagus with Pistachio Citrus Gremolata.
If you’ve never tried a gremolata before, it is a super quick and easy condiment traditionally made from fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon zest. I love to throw one together with herbs from my container garden in the summer. I’ll use it to put atop grilled fish or chicken or just serve it as a side with fresh veggies. Recently, I’ve been playing around with using other citrus fruits and adding some nuts for crunch and loving it.
The key to both the asparagus and the gremolata is to use fresh ingredients. Look for asparagus of medium thickness and tightly packed tips. Trim off the woody ends of the asparagus and gently toss with olive oil before seasoning with salt and pepper. Because I was pairing this asparagus with an orange based gremolata, I also gave the asparagus a little sprinkle of fresh orange juice. Roast the asparagus in a hot (I like 425 degrees!) oven until just cooked through and then serve immediately topped with the gremolata and a good pinch of salt.
I like to make chop and mix the herbs and zest for this gremolata an hour or two before I’m going to use it. Grab a generous bunch of flat leaf parsley and finely chop it. Add some orange zest, minced garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Give them a good stir and allow the flavors to meld together in the refrigerator. You can definitely add the pistachios at this point, but I love to add them just before serving to preserve the bit of crunch for contrast.
One of the best things about gremolata is that it is infinitely customizable! Don’t like orange? Try lemon or lime instead. Not a fan of garlic? Use a small shallot! Fresh out of pistachio? Chopped almonds would be great! Wanna make it more sauce like? Add a tablespoon or two of some flavored olive oil (y’all know we love the amazing oils from Queen Creek Olive Mill). It really is such a versatile recipe and perfect on roasted salmon, pork, or even fresh roasted potatoes.
How do you like to serve your spring veggies? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Asparagus with Pistachio Citrus Gremolata
Fresh and full of flavor, this easy Gremolata is the perfect topping for fish, veggies, or chicken! Serve it with our simple citrus roasted asparagus.
For The Asparagus
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed off
- 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
For The Gremolata
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 Tablespoons orange zest
- 1/4 cup roasted and salted pistachios, chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
For The Gremolata
In a medium bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, zest, and pistachios. Stir to combine and set aside to allow the flavors to blend.
For The Asparagus
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the fresh orange juice and olive oil. Mix together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the asparagus with 2 Tablespoons of the orange-olive oil mixture and spread the spears out on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just roasted. Top with the Gremolata and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.