This roasted asparagus with sun-dried tomatoes packs a super-savory punch thanks to umami-rich ingredients. The whole dish takes 15 minutes to make. It will be your new favorite weeknight side!
I’ve been really into the concept of “shopping your pantry” lately. Since we bought our first house in January, it seems like everywhere we turn we are spending money. Recently I came home from the gym and got all the way inside before it really registered that there was a team of lawn workers blowing leaves and trimming branches in our backyard, and that it was me (and not some distant landlord) who was going to have to pay them.
I ran back outside and it turns out the previous owner forgot to cancel her monthly service plan. And since I have lived in New York City for practically my entire adult life and thus know absolutely nothing about yardwork, and since the head guy convinced me it was a good deal, I signed her plan over into my name.
There are so many things like that! The plumber has been here twice, the electrician once, and one of our shutters fell off in a storm so now I have to figure out 1) how to purchase a new shutter that matches all the old ones, and 2) how to attach it to the window.
Of course, to be fair, some of the purchases are fun. My mom and I spent last Friday at West Elm picking out new bedding, and I couldn’t help going all-in with not only sheets and a comforter, but Euro and accent pillows as well. (PS: do you know what a Euro pillow is? I didn’t, and the sales lady practically rolled her eyes and breathed a heavy sigh. I guess it is common knowledge?)
With all our new homeowner expenses, I’ve found that “shopping” in our kitchen and throwing together meals with what we have is a great way to save money we would otherwise spend on take out or the sushi delivery guy.
This roasted asparagus with sun-dried tomato breadcrumbs is something I threw together using pantry staples. All you need is panko, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, anchovy paste, and any firm cheese that’s in your fridge. This time I used aged provolone, but I’ve also made this with Parmesan, and pecorino or cheddar would also be delicious. Just dump all the topping ingredients in the food processor and blend.
Then roast some asparagus, but pull it out a minute or two early. Scatter with the topping, then pop back in the oven for a minute or two, just until the cheese is starting to melt and the panko is toasty. Squeeze a lemon over the whole thing and you’re done!
You could top this with a fried egg and eat it as a main course, or serve it as a side dish. Either way, it will be the star of the meal. The cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and anchovy paste are all umami-rich ingredients which means they pack a ton of bold, savory flavor.
In the spirit of using what you’ve got, don’t even feel like you need to run out and buy asparagus! The topping would also be delicious on roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans.
- 1/3 cup panko (preferably whole wheat)
- 1/4 cup grated firm cheese, such as Parmesan, Pecorino, or provolone
- 3 large sun-dried tomato halves
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste, depending on taste
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Combine the panko, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and anchovy paste in a food processor and pulse until well combined and the mixture is a coarse meal.
- On a baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is just beginning to melt and the panko is golden-brown, about 2 minutes more. Squeeze lemon over the asparagus and serve.