Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

Spring is the time to enjoy asparagus at its finest. Look for firm stalks, with the buds still tight. Asparagus is incredibly versatile in that it can be grilled, roasted, steamed, or blanched as in this recipe or for a surprise addition to a veggie tray. Cook more than you need for a meal… there are always uses for leftovers.

Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Yields 4 servings.

Raisin and Pine Nut variation: Omit tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and goat cheese. Cook 1/3 cup sliced red onion and 2 tablespoons pine nuts in oil for 4 minutes. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice, 3 tablespoons raisins, and 2 teaspoons honey; cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon orange rind. Spoon over asparagus; sprinkle with pepper.

Nutrition Information: Calories 111; Fat 3g

Recipe available at: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/asparagus-with-balsamic-tomato/print

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