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Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze and Lemon Zest

Roasting asparagus spears with a little balsamic vinegar and lemon zest gives them a deep, almost smoky flavor and an attractive mahogany glaze. They make a wonderful accompaniment to egg dishes as well as poultry, meat and fish. 

Ingredients:

  • 20 to 25 asparagus spears, tough ends removed 
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper 
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest 

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F.

Spread the asparagus in a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Turn the asparagus spears several times to coat them evenly.

Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes, turning them from time to time. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the lemon zest and turn the spears several times. Return them to the oven and continue to roast until the spears are crisp-tender and the color has darkened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes more.

Transfer the asparagus to a platter and serve immediately. Or, let the asparagus cool, then cover with aluminum foil and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour before serving. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).