This side dish is incredibly simple, but WOW! Never underestimate what a few basic, fresh ingredients can become when combined together. It is basic oven-roasted asparagus, topped with pan-fried almonds and capers, and sprinkled with fresh dill.
This flavor combination, though.
The crunch from the salty, buttery nuts. The tangy burst from the capers. The lightness of the dill throughout. This is so good, I even sprinkled the mixture over the baked King Salmon I served it alongside. I licked my plate clean, and that’s impressive from a side veggie. This has already been added to our regular rotation, and I’m excited to dig deeper into this fantastic cookbook!
My personal adjustments: I halved the recipe for my smaller household and lower the fat for my restricted diet. I did not, however, halve the capers for the tangy flavor, and I allowed for a bit more salt for my current low-carb restrictions.
Roasted Asparagus with Almonds, Capers, and Fresh Dill
(Original recipe: Ottolenghi Simple)
10 oz fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2 TBSP olive oil, divided
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 TBSP salted butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3 TBSP baby capers, rinsed and patted dry on a paper towel
1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
In a large bowl or on a work surface, toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Arrange asparagus in the paper-lined pan, spaced well apart, and roast 8-12 minutes, shaking the pan once in the middle, until asparagus is soft and starting to brown in places. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the asparagus is in the oven, prepare the almonds and capers.
Melt the remaining butter over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until the nuts become golden brown, approx. 1 to 2 minutes (reduce heat as needed to prevent scorching). Pour the mixture over a paper towel to drain most of the butter. Salt the almonds to taste and sprinkle them over the asparagus.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry them for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously, until they have opened up and become crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove capers from the oil and sprinkle over the asparagus.
Top the asparagus, almonds, and capers with the fresh dill. Toss gently to combine and serve.