In addition to being rich in vitamins A and K, asparagus is a source of saponins, which possess anti-cancer properties and the potential to improve blood pressure. Asparagus also contains a prebiotic called inulin that promotes a healthy digestive tract.
Fresh asparagus is one of the easiest vegetables to prepare. It cooks quickly and pairs well with citrus and herbs. Serve this side dish with steamed fish or grilled chicken.
Yield: 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 lb. asparagus, tough part of stems trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir in the parsley, chives, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the asparagus and move the stalks around to ensure that each is coated. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
Use a spatula to transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Scoop up any roasted garlic and herbs from the baking sheet and place on top of the asparagus. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information for one serving (1/4 recipe, about 6 spears): Calories 52; Total Fat 3.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 73 mg; Carbohydrate 5.9 g; Fiber 2.7 g; Sugar 2.6 g; Protein 2.7 g