Baked Asparagus Fries with Lemon Aioli

baked asparagus

Dredge asparagus in panko and parmesan for a garden-fresh springtime side dish.

For the home gardener, asparagus is an exercise in delayed gratification. While other backyard crops like tomatoes and peppers can go from seed to harvest in two or three months, even well-tended asparagus will take several years before the first bounty is ready to go. Once established, though, this perennial favorite will continue to yield succulent spears for the dinner table seasonally for fifteen years or longer. When spring rolls around each year, we are reminded that this versatile vegetable is worth the wait.
Steamed, parboiledgrilledpickled or even microwaved, asparagus is easy to prepare in a variety of ways and goes with whatever might be for dinner. One of our favorites is this healthy alternative to the same old french fries. Baked until crisp
and served with a creamy lemon aioli, these “fries” retain the great taste of fresh asparagus served in a way even kids can’t resist.

Easy to make and fun to eat, fresh asparagus is dredged in crispy panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, then baked instead of fried to crunchy perfection. For best results, select firm, green spears and prepare soon after harvest. Paired with a bright, lemony aioli for dipping, this springtime treat makes a great snack or side dish. Finger food so tasty, you’ll forget they’re good for you.
Baked Asparagus Fries
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
Place flour in a wide bowl. In a second bowl, whisk eggs and water together. In a third bowl, combine panko, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Roll each asparagus spear in flour, dip in egg, then dredge in panko mix to coat. Arrange asparagus on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until coating is golden brown.
Lemon Aioli

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until well-combined. Serve with asparagus fries for dipping.

 

 

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