Recipe of the Month: Parmesan Asparagus

One of the things I love most about this time of year, besides the flowers and the birds and not having to wear a jacket all the time, is that fresh asparagus is actually affordable. When the price drops below $2.00, I start buying two or three bunches at a time and eating it almost every day. It’s one of those vegetables I consider luxury foods, and it fits easily into just about any type of meal. Making a stir-fry? Throw it in. Need a side dish? Roast some up. Quickie pasta? Roast it, stir-fry it, or steam it and toss with noodles for an elegant meal that doesn’t require you to spend all night in the kitchen.
This is my absolute favorite way to eat asparagus, I can comsume a dozen spears before we even sit  down for dinner.
1 bunch asparagus (I like the fatter ones)
…did you know that the fattest asparagus come from the youngest plants?
2 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp. Finely shredded parmesan cheese (see note)
Snap the bottoms off of the asparagus, not too much, just the woody tips.  Preheat your broiler to hi broil, and line a flat sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Lay out the asparagus in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Broil close to heat for 4-5 minutes, watch them, they cook fast!  They will start to turn brown and bubble a little, flip them over if you like, but I usually just yank them, I like them al dente.  Sprinke the spears with the cheese and consume!
They can also be made the same way on a gas or charcoal grill, just be careful because they will burn if yo turn your back!
These are also great with a squeeze of lemon juice or lime juce over the tops.
Note:  My favorite kitchen tool is the Microplane grater.  Originally a woodworking tool, this handy tool grates even the hardest Parmesan Reggiano as well as other hard cheeses into fine lacy wisps.

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