What's On the Side: Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Bacon

What makes oven-roasted asparagus even tastier? A generous topping of crumbled goat cheese and bacon, of course. 

I probably shouldn't admit this, given I'm a food blogger and all, but I cooked my first steak last week! I was craving a little red meat, so I thawed out two venison steaks during the day. I typically hand red-meat cooking duties over to D, but he was busy fixing some fencing in the farmyard, so it was up to me to get the meat onto our dinner plates. And surprisingly to me, it was actually quite easy. And I nailed it! After searing the seasoned steaks on all sides on a hot cast iron skillet, I transferred the skillet to the oven, where I continued cooking the steaks for about 10 minutes, until their interior temperature reached between 135 and 140 degrees. Five minutes of rest-time, and they were ready to eat. 

Alongside the steaks, I served up garlic mashed potatoes and this roasted asparagus dish. I love asparagus that has been roasted in a hot oven, and this asparagus is made even better with a generous sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese, bacon, lemon juice, and lemon zest. And you could easily make this a vegetarian side by omitting the crumbled bacon.

The asparagus is just gettin' good up here in the north; I'm definitely planning to make this yummy side dish again as soon as I get my hands on another bunch of plump asparagus spears!

Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Bacon (printer-friendly version)
makes 2-3 servings

3 slices bacon
1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper
fine sea salt
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

1. Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp and browned. Blot on a paper towel, crumble, and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
3. Place the asparagus in a single layer atop the prepped baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and gently roll the asparagus to evenly coat the asparagus spears. Season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Roast the asparagus in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Place the asparagus on a serving platter in a single layer. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, then bacon, then drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve immediately.

(adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe)