Asparagus with Roasted Potatoes, Seared Lemon, and Mint

Asparagus with roasted potatoes, seared lemon and mint is a healthy, refreshing, and easy side dish recipe.

Asparagus with Seared Lemon, Roasted Potatoes, and Mint - A refreshing, easy-to-make, healthy side dish recipe from COOKtheSTORY.com

I pluck the plump spear between thumb and index finger. Peering at the fronds, as pearly and pointed as an elephant’s tusk, I wonder if my European grad school friend could possibly be right. Will this asparagus taste better than any asparagus I’ve ever had?

It doesn’t look that special. It is white, which I’ve rarely seen before. But it’s accompanied by the most boring things: Boiled potatoes and a sliver of breaded meat. Oh well. Time to find out.

I push the pencil tip of asparagus into my mouth and…ohhh…the crowd goes wild! Cheers! Screaming! It’s like fireworks in my head!

Oh wait. That’s not in my head. That’s actually happening. Voices cheer while cracks and pops explode for miles around. Celebrations! Oh my!

Please, let me pretend that these sounds are praise for German asparagus season.

Please, let me imagine that the city is delighting in my first bite of soft subtle springtime.

Please, let me dream that the screams have nothing to do with Germany scoring its first Berlin goal in the 2006 World Cup.

Please?

Every time I eat asparagus in the spring I remember the sound of a city celebrating. But in my memory it has nothing to do with soccer. Those pops and bangs will always explode in honor of me, sitting alone in a biergarten in Berlin eating white asparagus with boiled potatoes and a sliver of breaded meat.
Asparagus with Seared Lemon, Roasted Potatoes, and Mint - A refreshing, easy-to-make, healthy side dish recipe from COOKtheSTORY.com

Enjoy this refreshing and healthy asparagus recipe.

Oh, and if you love asparagus dishes, be sure to also check out my recipe for Roasted Asparagus with Basil and Pistachios

Roasted Asparagus with Basil and Pistachios

 

 

Asparagus with Roasted Potatoes, Seared Lemon, and Mint

There is no way to recreate my first bite of fresh springtime asparagus in Germany. But I can make grocery store asparagus taste pretty good by roasting it and adding a few extra ingredients. This is a very simple side dish recipe. Everything is cooked on one pan in the oven. It requires little attention but in the end the flavors certainly do pop and bang.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon cut into quarters
  • coarse sea salt
  • 24 ounces fingerling potatoes
  • 1 lb pencil-thin or slightly plumper asparagus, trimmed of lower stalks and cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 5 medium mint leaves, cut in a fine chiffonade

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450º
  2. Measure the olive oil onto a large rimmed baking pan (I use a jelly roll pan). Tilt the pan this way and that until it is fairly well coated. Slide the cut sides of each lemon quarter in the olive oil. Sprinkle each cut side with a small pinch of coarse seat salt and then remove them from the pan. Slip the potatoes into the olive oil and then wiggle the pan around until the skins are all slippery. Sprinkle the potatoes with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt. Nuzzle the lemon in amongst the potatoes making sure that each quarter has a cut side in contact with the pan. Put the pan into the oven and roast until the potatoes are fork tender and lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven. Use a metal spatula to scrape and lift off the lemon quarters (don't worry if they're a bit blackened and stuck to the pan; do your best to get them off). Add the asparagus to the pan and give it a quick toss, tilt and toss before putting it back into the oven. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, into a small bowl squeeze the pulp and juice out of the charred lemons. Remove any seeds from the bowl.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle everything with another 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt and distribute the lemon pulp and juice over top. Gently transfer the potatoes and asparagus onto a serving platter and then sprinkle the mint over top.

9 Responses to “Asparagus with Roasted Potatoes, Seared Lemon, and Mint”

  1. Trish — May 22, 2012 @ 10:28 am (#)

    To me, asparagus will always mean Hadley, Massachusetts, where my mother grew up, and I lived for a time. Hadley is a center of asparagus farming, even more so before the 1970’s when disease damaged much of the local asparagus crop. Then, the local high school, Hopkins Academy, started later than usual so the kids could earn money picking asparagus before they went to school, and the asparagus could be on its way fresh to markets early in the day. See http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=24906 to learn more about asparagus and Hadley, where my sister still lives.

    • Christine — May 22, 2012 @ 11:32 pm (#)

      That is SO interesting, Trish. I love how an entire community can revolve around its industry. Where my parents’ (and now brother and his wife’s) restaurant is, the school year starts and ends slightly differently from the surrounding areas to accommodate the tourist industry. Thank you so much for sharing. I really enjoyed reading about it!

  2. Mike Pittman — May 18, 2012 @ 5:16 pm (#)

    Might have to give that a go at Pittman’s on 44…love asparagus

    • Christine — May 21, 2012 @ 1:01 pm (#)

      Go for it! I bet the lemons would be great on the chargrill. Let me know how it turns out.

  3. Paula — May 17, 2012 @ 6:56 pm (#)

    I love how certain foods can evoke powerful memories. I also love roasted potatoes and asparagus. Your inclusion of charred lemon and mint sounds lovely.

  4. phyllis — May 16, 2012 @ 8:23 pm (#)

    This side dish not only looks fantastic but sounds lip smacking. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Christine — May 16, 2012 @ 8:27 pm (#)

      Thanks Mom! If you do try it, let me know how you and Dad like it :)

  5. {Adventuresindinner} — May 16, 2012 @ 2:47 pm (#)

    Oh! is there anything better than asparagus? Sadly, I only had it roasted for the first time about two years ago. Crazy, right? Going to put this on my ‘to make soon’ list.

    • Christine — May 16, 2012 @ 8:26 pm (#)

      I love asparagus when it’s roasted. So much better than limply steamed. I’m sure your family will like this one. So easy. So tasty!

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