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Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Pancetta in a Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Pancetta in a Lemon Vinaigrette

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!)

Serves 4-6


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!

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  • Reply
    June 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Omigosh yum thanks for the idea!

    • Reply
      June 11, 2010 at 5:44 am

      Thanks Joan! And I love your blog!! You are too funny, a great read! I think I’ll have to subscribe. Happy Cooking! Karista

      • Reply
        June 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

        Pls do and thanks for the kind words – I’m afraid I am a smart ass from way back but I like to cook so I have 1 redeeming feature 😉

  • Reply
    June 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

    hey – me again .. how do you make cream of corn? Its not something we ever eat “fresh” here in NZ – always canned. And its quite nice but I bet home made will be better!

    • Reply
      June 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

      Hi Joan, Although we have several brands of canned creamed corn here in the US, I have a yummy and simple recipe. 2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernals (or frozen, thawed), 1 tblsp butter, 1 cup heaving cream, salt and pepper to taste. Melt the butter and saute the corn for a minute or two, then add the heavy cream over low heat, stirring several times until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Just an option, add 1/4 cup chopped green onions or shallots to the butter and then add the corn. Can also add a pinch of red pepper for a little spice. Happy Cooking!

      • Reply
        June 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

        Oh, it’s so simple, gosh all this time I’ve bought canned cream corn!! Too funny, never ever thought of making my own – what a schmuck. Does it work with ordinary cream??

      • Reply
        June 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

        Yes, Either heavy whipping cream or whipping cream. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    asparagus recipes
    April 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    […] [a few] food blogging friends + asparagus = Alanna Kellogg from Kitchen Parade has a dedicated asparagus column and on Karista’s Kitchen find Roasted Asparagus with Pancetta […]

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