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Early spring vegetable: asparagus

vegetable spotlight asparagus

Last week, I was lamenting the fact that asparagus was $5.99/bunch. Even me, the lover of all things green, wasn’t willing to shell out that kind of cash for a vegetable — regardless of how ready I am for spring or how sick I am of having to roast yet another root vegetable.

Luckily, it seems someone heard my complaints because this morning asparagus was on sale and looking beautiful. Nothing screams spring vegetable more than asparagus. Its mild flavor and bright green color are reminiscent of Easter lunches and outdoor meals.

As we teeter on the edge of spring, with winter’s grasp slowly but not completely loosened, we pay homage to both seasons by roasting this delectable vegetable. Roasting adds a depth of flavor that asparagus doesn’t have when steamed or sauteed and somehow makes it heartier and juicer at the same time.

The maple tahini dressing adds a light sweetness and a lovely touch of acid. This whole dish comes together in about 20 minutes, making it the perfect side to enjoy after a spring run, preferably eaten on the patio or in the backyard, while enjoying the evening light.

Roasted asparagus with maple tahini dressing (vegan, gluten-free)

1 bunch asparagus
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon tahini (ground sesame paste-this can be found next to the peanut butter)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cut woody stems off asparagus spears. Place on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes, flipping once. The asparagus should be tender but not mushy.
  4. While spears are roasting, place tahini, maple syrup, vinegar, garlic and salt in a bowl. Mix. If the dressing is too thick, add a bit of water to thin.
  5. Place asparagus on a plate and drizzle with maple tahini dressing.

Enjoy!

Photos and article by Walk Jog Run contributor Lisa Horvath. Lisa is a Boston-based certified yoga teacher, runner, and blogger. You can ask her a question in the comments below.

Read more healthy recipes for runners, including black bean brownies. Yum!