Asparagus has always been my favorite vegetable…probably even my favorite food.
In college, when I was cooking for just myself, I had some pretty interesting (unbalanced) meals. I remember countless times steaming a bunch of asparagus and eating the entire thing with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper. I also remember when I discovered my love for raw asparagus. Recently at my husband’s work Christmas party, I avoided the meat options and made a beeline straight for the vegetable platter, overflowing with untouched super thick raw asparagus spears. I filled my plate and crunched away on one of my favorite delicacies. I was seriously in heaven…FYI, vegetarians typically don’t chose steak houses as their restaurant of choice.
My relationship with asparagus has been long-term. Even as a kid I enjoyed it more than the average adult. I’m really glad I genuinely like it, though, because the health benefits of asparagus are outrageously good. It’s packed with tons of Vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate and fiber. Asparagus also has countless antioxidants, making it a cancer fighting power veggie which has also been proven to slow the aging process. Check and mate!
I love this simple recipe because it doesn’t take much to make such a delicious and healthy side dish for any meal. All you need is a few of the basics and crackers – we all have crackers in our pantry, right?
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
1/2 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
3 eggs, beaten
About 10 butter crackers of your choice, crushed
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Clean and prepare the asparagus, cutting off the ends where the stems naturally break when bent (about an inch or so). Dry thoroughly.
Prepare three shallow bowls: one with flour, salt, and pepper; the other with eggs, and the last with medium-fine crushed crackers.
Lightly coat each asparagus spear with seasoned flour, then dip in the beaten eggs. Lastly, generously cover each spear with crushed cracker crumbs. I pulse my crackers for a few seconds in my food processor for the perfect consistency.
Arrange the asparagus on a baking rack and bake for 10-12 minutes until the cracker bits are golden brown.
You could also make this recipe with panko breadcrumbs, but I’ve been there, done that, and I definitely prefer cracker crumbs. They brown up nicely and stay super crunchy which makes for a delicious coating to the tender asparagus.
The “dippage” options are endless. Ketchup works, according to my husband’s palate, and so does your favorite barbecue sauce or aioli. Mix up some plain greek yogurt with freshly squeezed lemon juice and any fresh herb of your choice for a light and vibrant dipping sauce. You could even mix plain greek yogurt with some sriracha for a little cool and spicy flare.
What’s your favorite way to dip your veggie fries?