I love combining fruits with bitter vegetables, and this combo has to be by far one of my favourites up-to-date. The bitterness of the asparagus and the sweetness of the balsamic reduction and pears makes this a deliciously balanced combination that brings roasted asparagus to the next level. Consider making this festive asparagus side dish for thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter dinner, a dinner party or gathering.
The day I tried oven roasted asparagus is the day I fell in love with it. Oven roasted, in my opinion, is the only way to serve up twist on the classic side dish of asparagus. It requires little work and attention and, when you cook them in the juices of the pears, the result is a deliciously sweetened combination of the two. Drizzle on the balsamic reduction, and you have an explosion of flavour that looks and tastes refined bringing the classically delicious roasted asparagus to the next level. I had made this side dish for a Christmas dinner gathering and it was an absolute hit. The only thing I would change up for next is that I would double up the recipe for next time.
There’s nothing like some roasted asparagus on a cold winter or fall day. In my hometown of Montreal, winter has been less than kind over the past few weeks, and we have been buried over and over again under a ton of snow. This delicious side dish is a great way to warm up your insides after a cold day outside. The pears and balsamic reduction balance out the bitterness of the asparagus and sprinkle on some lentils, and you have a wholesome nutrient-rich meal.
Making this Sweet Pear Roasted Asparagus:
This roasted asparagus is surprisingly easy to make. within 15 to 20 minutes you’ll be done.
Before starting, make sure you prep your cookie sheet by covering it with parchment paper and then preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Making the Balsamic reduction
Making a balsamic reduction sounds a little intimidating because it sound upscale but it is so easy to prepare at home. Alternatively, if you want to save yourself the time in doing the preparation, you could alway buy it at the grocery store for about 8-10$. But, if you are like me and like getting props for making it yourself, it’s quite easy.
In a sauce pan, bring your balsamic vinegar and sugar to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally. Don’t leave this unattended because it will burn. Continue simmering until it has reduced to a quarter of the original liquid you should be able to cover the back of a spoon with it and have a syrupy consistency.
Roasting the Asparagus
While your balsamic vinegar is reducing, prepare your asparagus. Add asparagus and pears to the cookie sheet and combine with olive oil and salt to taste. Mix until we’ll coated all over. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until asparagus ends have crisped up and is cooked throughout.
Serving the Asparagus
Once your asparagus is cooked, let cool for 5 minutes. Put the asparagus and pears on a serving dish, drizzle some of that delicious balsamic reduction and sprinkle some lentils if desired. Best if enjoyed the day of, but you could enjoy it for up to 3 days after. I would highly recommend reheating it in the oven to keep some crispiness.
Sweet Pear Roasted Asparagus
- 1 bunch of (preferably) wild asparagus, washed and ends removed
- 2 Bartlett pears washed, cored and sliced ½ inch thick
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar of choice
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup cooked lentils brown or green optional
- Preheat oven to 375F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Meanwhile, heat balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small pot or saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from stove when the vinegar thickens and is reduced to about 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes). It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Lay out asparagus and sliced pears on the cookie sheet and drizzle your olive oil. Sprinkle your salt. Mix well to make sure that pears and asparagus are well coated with the olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle lentils and scoop up juices from your baking sheet and drizzle them over your asparagus along with the balsamic reduction. Serve
Other delicious side dishes you need to try: