Here’s something easy to do with asparagus that makes them a little different.
You’ll need some dry tandoori spice blend. You can make your own, but there are some good ones on the market. Having it on hand is great when you can’t figure out what kind of side to make with din-din and you’re sick and tired of bland veggies. While I might put together my own spice blend for a main dish, I usually use packaged stuff for everything else.
I suggest going to an Indian or Pakistani grocery for your spice blends. I wrote a post about this last year, which you can check out. These stores carry imported products, which are much less expensive than their American-made counterparts. For example, MDH puts out a good Tandoori blend, and you’ll pay about $1.50 for 100 grams at Vik’s Market in Berkeley. This is a steal.
Give this a try and then alter the recipe to your taste. It works well with green beans and potatoes, but you’ll need more oil for the latter.
Makes enough for dinner sides for 4 and leftovers
2 pounds fresh asparagus
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons tandoori spice blend
2 teaspoons sea salt
1). Wash, dry and trim the asparagus, and then peel the bottom quarter or so of the stems to get rid of the woody, stringy part.
2). Toss oil, spice blend and salt on a sheet pan and mix with your hands.
3). Place asparagus on sheet pan and coat spears well with seasoned oil. Hands are your best tool for this.
4). Arrange in single layer (or you can put on a rack, if you like).
5). Blast in preheated 425 deg. F. oven (convection, if you have it) and take out when they are to your liking. If you use thin asparagus and leave them in longer than you really should, they will be very soft at the ends but the tips will be crunchy and salty/spicy, which I like.
6). Remove with tongs to serving plate and present with lemon wedges.
These are good as leftovers on a sandwich. I know I say that about everything, and it’s usually true. This time it’s really true.