Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

At long last, we have arrived. Can you feel it? Spring. Let there be pink tulips! Let there be lightweight jackets and white pants! And certainly let there be lots and lots of Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts.

Roasted Asparagus with Carmelized Onions and Pinenuts

Though here in Wisconsin we are still waiting for the thermometer to consistently crack the big 6-0, yesterday morning I felt a sense of freshness and hope in the air I’d been missing before. Our grass is a little greener, our resident family of deer has returned to eating the bushes, and I can now exit the house without spending 10 extra minutes searching for my left glove.

In addition to the green of our grass (well, the brown/green/darker brown mix of our grass, but I’m feeling optimistic today), green is finally appearing at our local grocery stores. I’ve been on a bit of a vegetable high (yes, this happens, particularly when runny eggs are involved), and no veggie is throwing a bigger party in our refrigerator than asparagus.

Easy Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts. An easy elegant spring side dish!

I’ve developed a mildly irrational fear that I am going to wake up and discover that my husband has transformed into a stalk of asparagus. Because they are easy, healthy and ridiculously tasty, I serve a big pan of roasted vegetables almost every night with dinner, and roasted asparagus has commandeered the menu. As I shared a few weeks ago when I posted this Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole, asparagus season is tragically short, so every spring, I tend to go completely bonkers become highly enthusiastic and serve it multiple nights a week.

Perfect Roasted Asparagus

Although simply roasted asparagus is absolutely delicious on its own—few other dishes in life offer this much flavor with only five minutes of prep and four ingredients (asparagus, olive oil, salt, and pepper)—for the sake of variety and to discourage Ben from throwing my favorite baking sheet out the window, I’ve been testing easy ways to jazz up the same old pan of roasted vegetables. Today’s Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts is our unanimous favorite so far.

To make this simple but stunning side, while the asparagus roasts, sauté sliced red onions on low heat with a bit of red wine vinegar. The resulting caramelized onions are an addictive mix of sweet and sour and blend beautifully with the savory roasted asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus topped with Caramelized Onions

A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts adds depth and crunch, and what was once a standard plate of roasted asparagus suddenly feels special and unique.

I’m sharing this recipe for Roasted Asparagus with Carmelized Onions and Pine Nuts as a part of one of my favorite monthly traditions: the #EatSeasonal blogger collaboration, organized by my inspiring friend Becky of The Vintage Mixer. Each month, our group shares a seasonal produce guide and recipes to help you shop for, cook, and enjoy ingredients that are at their peak of freshness and flavor.

April Seasonal Produce Guide

Since finding a human-sized asparagus stalk in my bed sounds terrifying, I’ll be expanding our menu to include more of these wonderful April fruits and vegetables, and I hope you do the same!

Easy Roasted Asparagus with Carmelized Onions and Pinenuts

Just as soon as I finish that extra pound of asparagus hanging out in our refrigerator, that is. Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts one more time can’t be too risky, right?

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Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

Dress up roasted asparagus with caramelized onions and pine nuts. An easy but impressive recipe!


Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts



Directions:


  1. Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Toss to evenly coat, then spread the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until the asparagus is tender but still slightly crisp, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon the thickness of the asparagus.

  2. While the asparagus cooks, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium high. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sugar, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deeply colored and caramelized, about 20 minutes total. Add the pine nuts during the last 8 minutes of cooking to toast, being careful that they do not burn.

  3. Transfer the asparagus to a serving plate. Top with caramelized onions and pine nuts and serve.



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More inspiring #EatSeasonal recipes for a fresh April: