Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite treats when going out to eat. But when I'm at home I avoid frying at all costs. Yes, mostly for health reasons. But also because I've been known to forget about frying oil and nearly set my kitchen on fire. So I opt for baked non-breaded varieties of parmesan dishes and one of the surprisingly perfect marriages of tomato sauce, cheese and vegetables is asparagus parmesan.
Before trying asparagus parmesan, my favorite way to have asparagus was a simply grilled with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette. So this saucy, cheesy version was a bit of a departure for me, but I've never been so happy I tried something new. It is incredible and a hit with the whole family. Asparagus, Roma tomatoes and red onion are all in season, so pick some up at your local farmers market or wait for them to arrive in your CSA box this month.
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves roasted garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 Roma tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon thyme
8 ounces tomato sauce
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Blanch asparagus for 1 minute and cool. Spread across the bottom of a 13 x 9 shallow baking dish.
Saute onion in oil until golden. Add garlic and tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add thyme and tomato sauce. Simmer 20 minutes longer.
Pour sauce over asparagus. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve over pasta, if desired.
Adapted from Favorite Recipes of America, Vegetables Volume
Have more asparagus? Here are some of our favorite ways to eat these crisp, green spears:
- 3 Easy Ways to Dress Up Asparagus
- Steamed Asparagus with Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Grilled Organic Asparagus with Bagna Cauda
- Brown Rice Pasta with Asparagus, Shiitakes, Pesto and Cheese
- Fettuccine with Edamame, Asparagus and Spinach Sauce
- Asparagus, Red Pepper and Potato Frittata
Keep in touch with Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter
Image: Kristi Arnold