Roasted Asparagus and Fennel with Charred Lime

By • April 20, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I intended this dish to be a sprightly salad of shaved asparagus and fennel with a lime-chili vinaigrette. But when shaving the first spear of asparagus, I decided that I wanted something warm and bold in flavor. So I cranked up my oven, tossed the asparagus and fennel in a liberal amount of olive oil and chili flakes, and threw in a halved lime that was destined for my vinaigrette. I then slipped the whole pan under the broiler to enhance the charred flavors. I finished the dish with juice from the charred lime and fennel fronds. The charred lime heightened and married the already bold flavors. My dish was the complete antithesis of sprightly, but on a cool spring evening, it completely hit the spot.EmilyC

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Serves 4

  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut lengthwise into strips about the same width as asparagus to ensure even cooking (reserve fronds for finishing the dish)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or lesser amount of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 lime, halved
  • kosher salt, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Combine asparagus, fennel, and halved lime in shallow baking dish or roasting pan. Toss with olive oil, Aleppo pepper, and kosher salt to evenly coat, and spread in a single layer.
  3. Roast until the asparagus and fennel are tender and browned in spots -- about 10 minutes for thin spears, and 18 minutes for thick spears. Test a few times for doneness.
  4. Slide pan under the broiler for a minute or two to char the vegetables and lime in spots. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
  5. To finish the dish, season to taste with juice from the charred lime and kosher salt. Coarsely chop the fennel fronds and scatter them on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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