Crispy Parmesan Asparagus

Often times, I struggle a tad to get my boys to eat their veggies. They have their favorites, but asparagus is not one of them.  This recipe was a great way to get them to enjoy asparagus. The cheese and breadcrumbs were not overwhelming and the wonderful taste of  asparagus came through quite well. While the coating added a little crunch, the asparagus remained nice and tender. They ate it up with no questions and found it  very enjoyable. That made me one happy Mom  🙂

Crispy coating, tender asparagus. With a dusting of paprika

Very lite and tasty

 Decided to add Fried Mushrooms

Although they needed not sauce–ranch and a spicy seafood sauce was on hand.

The Recipe:

2 pounds asparagus-cleaned and trimmed, salt & pepper, 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups), 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, 1 tsp unsalted butter-melted and cooled, pinch of cayenne, 2 large egg whites, 1 tsp honey.

Proceed:

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and give it a spray with vegetable oil. Using a fork, poke holes up and down the stalks of asparagus and toss it with 1/2 tsp of salt and let stand for about 30 minutes on paper towel. This will pull out some of the moisture that could saturate the bread crumbs.

Combine 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs, butter, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/tsp pepper, and cayenne in a mixing bowl, mix together well and transfer to a shallow dish.

Whip the egg whites with the honey on low-speed (I used  an electric hand-held mixer) until foamy–about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium high and whip unto soft peaks form. Scrape this into a 13 by 9 inch baking dish and toss the asparagus in the mixture. Working one spear at a time, dredge them in the bread crumbs, then transfer to the baking sheet.

Bake the asparagus until it’s just beginning to brown–about 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are golden brown, about another 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve.

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