Umm, somehow this post went live before I finished it. Just like last Friday.
Why has this happened two days in a row!? I am at a loss and slightly embarrassed.
[Apologies if you left a comment early this morning or last night as my computer seems to have eaten them when I changed this post back to draft mode!]
Thank you all so, so much for your sweet anniversary wishes. We had a fantastic + relaxing weekend which was much needed. Chris booked us an overnight stay in downtown Denver and made dinner reservations at a spot we've wanted to check out for awhile now. When we walked out of the hotel to head to dinner it felt like we were on vacation. We only live an hour away from Denver, but it felt like we were somewhere completely new. We hoofed it 2 miles to the restaurant Root Down, which exceeded our expectations. From the drinks, to apps, to dinner, to the complimentary champagne [so nice!], and dessert. If you ever find yourself at Root Down in the mood for dessert you must, must, must order the banana "creme brulee" pie. I was a little nervous that it was going to be a sugar bomb [love me some dessert, but not super sweet] but it was absolutely perfect. Creamy, crunchy, sweet, and salty. I'm confident it's the best dessert I've ever ordered at a restaurant.
For brunch the next morning we ate at Gaia Bistro on South Pearl St. I've eaten there multiple times before and it always blows me away. Even their oatmeal + homemade granola are impressively delicious. They had a huevos rancheros special that once the waiter described I knew had to be mine. To make it gluten-free [which was so kind of them] they served it on top of one of their gluten-free buckwheat crepes. The slightly crispy, folded-over crepe was the most outstanding addition to this meal in comparison to corn or flour tortillas. The See for yourselves. Not one bite went to waste.
If you don't have time to take a vacation or even a weekend trip I highly recommend an overnight stay in a big city near where you live. The change of scenery was so nice!
Now, let's talk about this recipe.
My favorite asparagus recipe to date. I typically just grill, roast, or pan fry asparagus and top with salt + pepper.
Good, but slightly boring.
In this recipe I grilled the asparagus and then chilled it. For some reason I adore grilled then chilled vegetables. I topped the dish with a thick, sun-dried tomato dressing. I wouldn't really describe it as a dressing, though, but I'm not sure what else to call it. It's not really something you'd put on a salad because it's extremely thick. But you could use it on a pasta dish or on any other grilled veggies.
I love the strong but sweet flavor of sun-dried tomatoes and the pop of lemon really livens everything up.
Grilled Asparagus with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing gluten-free, vegan // yields 3-4 servings
- 2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed
- 1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 small clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
- toasted sliced almonds or pine nuts
- oil to toss asparagus before grilling
- Preheat your grill to medium heat, about 350* F.
- Toss asparagus with a light coating of oil and then place on a grill pan [or on the grates] for about 10-12 minutes until tender + golden brown. Turn 2-3 times while grilling. Taste-test for doneness.
- While grilling, place the sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper into a small food processor, magic bullet, etc.
- Pulse the mixture for about 30-45 seconds or until the sun-dried tomatoes are evenly chopped. The mixture will be thick. Refer to photo 3.
- Taste and add more lemon juice or oil if desired for taste or a thinner consistency. Set aside.
- Remove the asparagus from the grill, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and place in the fridge until fully chilled or in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Set a timer if using the freezer method!
- Toss asparagus with desired amount of dressing [I used about 3/4 of the mixture], a squeeze of lemon, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, and toasted almonds. Add more salt + pepper if desired.
Prepare to fall in love with asparagus. All over again.