High Roast Asparagus with Fresh Tomato/Basil Sauce
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
Keep in mind that the thickness of the asparagus will affect roasting time. Use firm, ripe tomatoes.
1 ½ pounds AuerPak® Brand asparagus, rinsed and tough ends snapped off
3 tablespoons best quality olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups seeded, cored and diced (1/2-inch size) tomatoes, about 3 medium
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 450 degrees and warm a serving plate in the oven as it heats up (remove when hot). Place the asparagus in a heavy-duty 10-to-12-inch skillet (12 inches preferred). Toss with one tablespoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast in the oven until the asparagus is just tender, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks.
Turn the asparagus onto a warmed plate and cover to keep warm. Place the skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil and swirl pan to coat the bottom. Add the tomatoes and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have heated through and softened slightly and started to exude juice, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, basil or parsley, a few grinds of pepper, and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.