Give me a handful of asparagus and I will give you two million different ways to eat it. Or more. You all know how I feel about the sleek veggie (see: Feta, Walnut, Sundried Tomato Asparagus) — I could simply eat it every day. And because asparagus season is upon us, I am literally eating it every single day. In every kind of way.
But this little number? Brace yourself, because I’m not sure there is even a word to describe it. Delicious just doesn’t cut it…
Roasted Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Candied Pecans and Bleu Cheese Crumbles
(The candied pecans are really what make this recipe stand out, so if you’re going to skip a step – don’t skip candying the pecans — it just takes 5 minutes!)
- Roasted Asparagus (recipe below)
- Candied Pecans (recipe below)
- about 2 cups loosely packed arugula
- 1 ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
- Balsamic vinaigrette (or olive oil and balsamic vinegar)
- 3 bundles thin asparagus
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
(I used the very thin asparagus, but if you use the more average size you will need to cook the asparagus for about 10-15 minutes longer)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop ends off of asparagus and lay out on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over to coat completely, season with salt and pepper. Roast Asparagus for about 8-10 minutes ( again, you’ll have to cook them longer if you have the larger asparagus). Remove from oven, cool and then cut in half for the salad.
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 4 tbs sugar
The candying process with the sugar only takes a few minutes and happens fast, so you want everything set up and ready to go ahead of time. Line a baking tray with wax paper (or a silpat mat) and set aside and have your cup of pecans waiting nearby.
In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan heat the sugar on medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves and reaches a golden amber color. Add the pecans and quickly stir to coat and then transfer to the lined tray. Spread the nuts out (I like to keep some of them in clumps, but you can spread them out thinner if you’d like) let cool.
Once your nuts are cool, assemble all of the ingredients in the salad and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette or just a good olive oil and balsamic vinegar.