My Grandmother loved her veggies. It wasn’t unusual to find an assortment of veggies on her table at the dinner and supper meals. Sometimes I’d sit down to dinner and the table would be so full of bowls and plates of veggies I hardly had room for my plate.
Sliced cooked carrots laced with creamy butter and a pinch of salt, sweet yellow corn or sometimes cream of corn, which my Grandmother loved, and of course always green beans with bacon. Gotta love the bacon! I remember thinking to myself I was going to have a huge helping of green beans just because Grandma added bacon.
To this day my love of bacon continues. Years ago when I went to culinary school I discovered an Italian bacon called pancetta. Italians don’t consider pancetta to be bacon because it’s salt cured with spices and American bacon is smoked. However, it is cooked just like our American bacon and can be a delicious substitute.
Try this recipe and I bet you too will want a huge helping of delightful and delicious green veggies… with bacon. Happy Cooking!
(If you love this recipe but prefer to omit the pancetta, substitute with toasted pine nuts or pecans. Yum!)
1 lb Spring Asparagus, tough ends trimmed
6 -8 slices Pancetta, cooked and crumbled
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar or brown sugar
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375F, or if using a convection oven 350F.
In a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar, pepper, salt and olive oil.
Place the asparagus in a large baking dish or on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle half the vinaigrette over the asparagus and toss to coat each stalk.
Place the asparagus in the oven and roast for about 5-8 minutes or until the asparagus is crisp tender.
Remove the asparagus from the oven and transfer to a platter. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the top of the asparagus and then sprinkle the crumbled pancetta. Check for seasoning as you may need a touch more salt. Serve immediately.
OPTIONS: This recipe can also be prepared with grilled asparagus. The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and is delicious over fresh spring greens with candied walnuts and gorgonzola cheese. Another option is to drizzle this delightful vinaigrette over grilled fresh Salmon. Bon Appetit!