I love when a simple, everyday recipe like roasted asparagus gets turned up a notch. Or in this case, to eleven, which doesn't take much more brainpower on your part than getting the crumbs and cheese ready. (Like, 4 minutes or so.)
The breadcrumbs, get quick toasting with a nut of butter in a pan, then stirred into shreds of tongue-smacking--almost sour--Pecorino Romano- these two are wonderful against the flavors of the steaming and caramelized green soldier spears. Line them up, douse them, serve them, repeat again tomorrow.
Use grated Asiago if you can't find Pecorino Romano- it's a closer sub, flavor-wise, than Parm.
Notes: Olive oil is extra-virgin.
ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH BREADCRUMBS AND PECORINO
Ingredients: 1 bunch asparagus, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, 1/2 tbsp. butter.
1. Preheat the oven to 425* and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wash and dry (important to dry!), then cut or snap the woody ends off of asparagus spears. Rub all over with oil. Sprinkle over salt and pepper, then toss with minced garlic.
3. Line up asparagus on a sheet pan, roast for 10-12 minutes until caramelized and tender. Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, stirring and cook until fragrant and golden. Set aside to cool.
4. Remove asparagus from the oven. Stir grated cheese into cooled breadcrumbs. Transfer asparagus to a serving platter, then generously rain over the cheese and breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.
Have a tiny amount of spice seeds left in the bottom of a container? Add coriander, sesame, cumin seeds, etc., to the breadcrumbs, not to exceed 1/2 tsp. for an added pop of flavor and to use them up.
Use seasoned breadcrumbs instead of plain.
No breadcrumbs? Use bashed-up cornflakes or cracker crumbs in place of breadcrumbs.