I probably shouldn’t have brought up Kit Kat bars and then given you a recipe all about asparagus. Maybe I’ll actually bake something next week. I could really go for a cookie. Especially these cookies. However, I’ve been a little apprehensive to bake, since I won’t be using wheat [gluten] flour anymore!
Asparagus is finally starting to come into season! It’s even local + organic. Double score.
I’m not in love with asparagus, but I do like it a lot. I think asparagus season is just the right length of time. Not too long where I get sick of it, but just long enough that I appreciate it.
Did you know it takes about 3 years to properly cultivate asparagus?? That is a long time to wait!
After washing your asparagus, snack the bottom part of the stem off. The end will be very tough + woody, so you want to discard it. If you snap the end using both hands, it will break at just the right spot. From there you can snap the rest, or cut with a knife at about the same spot.
I cut them. I’m becoming quite anal detail oriented in my old age.
Then, I cut them in half.
So what am I doing with these skinny green beauties?
Bathing them in millet of course! Confused?
Bakes Asparagus Fries! Gluten-free with a vegan option!
Where did I get this idea? Well, I saw Jessica’s post on breaded portobello mushrooms. I didn’t have any bellas on hand, but I had asparagus. I thought making asparagus fries sounded like a fabulous + creative idea. After making them I remembered, Jessica already did this too. What hasn’t that kitchen goddess thought of? :)
This is a little different spin on her version though…so let’s get back to it!
You’ll want to mix half millet flour + half course ground millet for the coating. Below, I want to show you the difference. I use my blender for this process. It works better than the food processor for this task.
On the left you have coarse ground millet. You want to grind it about 1/2-3/4 of the way to flour. You still want some crunchy pieces of millet mixed in. This mimics the idea of panko breadcrumbs. The middle pile, is millet flour. Grind the millet until it is completely smooth, with no crunch. On the right is whole millet.
Now here’s where things get fun.
And really messy! I made a version coating the asparagus with egg + a version using a flax egg.
The flax egg version worked! It was a little harder and a bit messier, but they still came out crunchy + delicious.
I have mentioned grinding your own flax at home, if you use it for flax eggs, and this is why.
Look at that stretchy-gooey-pull! Pre-ground flax meal is just not the same! To make your own flax meal, just buy raw flax seeds + grind them into flour in your blender. Make sure to store the flax meal in your refrigerator, as it spoils easily. [The same goes for the seeds!]
Although a bit of a process, this recipe is really unique and fun.
While the asparagus was baking, I made 2 different dipping sauces. As if I didn’t have enough to clean already, I dirtied half of my pots + pans + the vita-mix.
Totally worth it though!
First, I made my super easy red sauce. I always say this, but it’s so true, I could gobble this all up with a spoon! It’s so thick + herby + fresh. [I have a salt + sugar free version here, and a 5min version here.]
Next, I made an Italian spiced cheeze sauce. It’s just like the nacho cheeze sauce, but with an zesty herbed twist! I loved the sauce, but didn’t like it as a dipper for the asparagus. The red sauce was much tastier with the breaded spears.
However, this sauce would be excellent over pasta, quinoa, rice, etc. Creamy + full of flavor!
Zesty Herb Cheeze Sauce [adapted from spicy nacho cheeze sauce] yields ~1c
- 3/4c raw cashews
- 1/4c nutritional yeast
- 1/3c water
- 1/4-1/3c marinara sauce
- 1/4t garlic powder
- 1/2T dried oregano
- 1t dried basil
- 1/4t salt
- black pepper
- Add water to the blender, then all other ingredients.
- Blend until smooth, adding more marinara if necessary, until desired consistency is reached.
- Taste + add more seasoning accordingly. [It will thicken a bit as it sits.]
For the breaded asparagus, the red sauce is where it’s at. [I love the shadow in this photo!]
If you like millet + asparagus, you will like this recipe!
Herb Asparagus Fries [inspired by Crispy Portobello Mushroom Fries]
- 1 bunch asparagus [~1lb], washed, ends snapped off + cut in half
- 1c coarse ground raw millet [about 3/4c of the way blended to flour]
- 1c raw millet flour [ground in blender]
- 1T dried oregano
- 2t dried basil
- 1t dried thyme
- 2t dried rosemary, finely chopped
- 3/4t garlic powder
- olive oil [to lightly spray before baking]
- 1 egg white + 1 whole large egg [*or 2 flax eggs for vegan version – see note below]
*If making the vegan version, with flax eggs, for this recipe you want the flax eggs to be a little more liquefied. Typically, when using flax eggs for baking, I use 1T flax + 2T hot water. For this recipe, use 1T flax meal + 3-4T hot water [per “egg” – you’ll need that x2]. You want it a little runnier, so it just lightly coats the asparagus. After mixing the flax meal + water together, let sit for about 5min.
- Preheat your oven to 400*
- Line 1-2 baking sheets with foil, and place a wire rack [if oven safe] on top. Lightly coat with cooking spray. [photo above showing this method]
- Whisk eggs or flax “eggs” in a bowl that is big enough to dip the half spears.
- On a plate or in a large bowl, mix millet flour + coarse ground millet together with the oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary + garlic powder. [salt + pepper will be sprinkled on before baking]
- Dip the spears in the egg [whichever kind you’re using] and let the excess drip off.
- Roll in the millet + herb crumbs, then place on the wire rack. Repeat until all are coated.
- Lightly spray the spears with olive oil and generously sprinkle salt + pepper on top. [If you can’t spray the olive oil on, ever-so-gently brush it on with a pastry brush]
- Bake for about 20min until golden brown. You can always give one a taste-test to determine if you want them to cook longer.
*Best if eaten right out of the oven.
*If you want to add parmesan cheese, like in Jess’s version, add about 1/4c to the crumb mixture.
Plate, dip + enjoy! These would also be great thrown in a pasta dish.
After two days of rain the sun is shining! The rain was much needed, but it’s nice to see the sun again. Off to do house things, maybe hit the pool, and soak in some sunshine!