The Asparagus Salute
Whenever I cook asparagus for our family, I’m reminded of a game that we would play to coax the boys into eating their asparagus. Everyone would pick a spear from their plate with their fingers, hold it upright, and wave it like the American flag on the Fourth of July. When all of us had our spears hoisted, all together we would chomp down on the tip of the spear and continue until it was gone. Thanks to our “asparagus salute”, the boys grew to love and enjoy eating asparagus.
Go ahead…play with your food!
As a mom, I was open to any and all strategies that would get my kids eating more vegetables. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I knew that kids need to be exposed to new foods many times before it becomes a preferred food in their diet.
Does your family play with their food? Leave a comment and share your food fun.
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts or other chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 425°F
Clean the asparagus and trim off the tough base of the spears. Place spears in a shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil, tossing to evenly coat.
Lay the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 5-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the stalks). Test for tenderness by piercing the stalks with a knife. Spears should be tender with flecks of brown.
Arrange asparagus spears on a serving plate.
Whisk the melted butter and balsamic vinegar together, then drizzle the sauce over the asparagus.
Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.
Toasting nuts adds a richness to their flavor. They can be quickly toasted in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir constantly to toast the nuts evenly and prevent scorching. If you’re short on time, cook the asparagus in a steamer until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
This recipe was adapted from The Best of Simply Colorado Cookbook - Colorado Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics.