Friday, March 11, 2005


Orange-Chile Roasted Asparagus

Spring is finally here, and I for one and beyond excited. I wore a skirt and sandals yesterday and it was divine. My favorite flowers are in bloom and love is in the air. At the farmers market, strawberries are bursting with flavor and asparagus is finally thin and inexpensive. In these last few chilly nights I like to make this recipe for roasted asparagus. They come out a little blackened, but amazingly sweet and full of flavor. Try it and you will be converted. Enjoy!

1/4 cup olive oil
zest of one orange
large pinch of red chile flakes
2 pounds, thin asparagus, trimmed (hold each stalk gently with two hands and let snap. discard the woody end)
Coarse salt

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, gently heat the oil, zest and pepper flakes until you can just smell the orange, (about 3 minutes) then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. (This can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.)

Toss the asparagus in about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish and sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast for 12-15 minutes, turning once, until the asparagus is darkened. Remove and serve immediately.

Serves six


Britain took 428 sauces, soaps and frozen meals off the shelves last month -- the biggest recall in UK history --because a banned dye called Sudan 1 was found in a batch of chili powder used to make Worcestershire sauce. But that didn't please the country of the same name. Ambassador Hassan Abdin told Reuters his embassy hadwritten to the Food Standards Agency asking for an explanation. "There must be an explanation. They are using it. You can'tjust use a name without knowing what it means." A Food Standards Agency spokeswoman said she was trying to find out exactly how the chemical, which is used as a medical dye but is considered unfit for human consumption in food, got its name. It appears to have been called Sudan 1 since it was discovered by a scientist named Daddi in 1896. "We weren't around in 1896. So we weren't responsible for naming it," she said.

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I like the little aside about the Sudan food dye. Very funny.

Maybe I'll try your asparagus recipe, since the lack of success I had with my last attempt at cooking them. Read the comment thread on this post for more details and info.

Have a great weekend, Rachael!

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