Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

When it comes to weeknight cooking, fast, easy, and delicious are my favorite buzzwords.  Are you with me on this one?  If so, you are going to love today’s recipe with a capital L.  Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes and Goat Cheese – what’s not to like?  Just the name has my mouth watering.  (If you haven’t noticed, I kind of have a thing for goat cheese.)

This recipe uses fresh asparagus – plentiful, inexpensive, and in-season at this time of year.  The asparagus gets a quick cook (we’re talking 2 to 3 minutes) in boiling water before getting an incredibly flavorful topping.  To make the topping, halved grape tomatoes are quickly cooked with a little garlic and balsamic vinegar.  That sounds simple enough, but the flavor produced is anything but.  As the tomatoes cook, they get soft and sweet and a little tangy from the vinegar.  After a couple of minutes, the tomatoes take on an almost jam-like consistency.  It is “lick the pan” good.  And it takes about 5 minutes.  The fact that creamy goat cheese tops every off is the icing on the cake. 

A few notes: this recipe originally called for using whole asparagus spears.  I had intended to prepare mine that way as well, but my asparagus was on its way out the door, and the tips weren’t looking so hot.  I decided to trim them off and go for bite-sized pieces instead.  Not as pretty, perhaps, but nice and easy to eat.  Also, while this recipe is delicious made with asparagus, I think it would be equally delicious using any number of vegetables, especially green beans, spinach, or roasted broccoli.  The balsamic tomatoes and goat cheese would also make an amazing topping for bruschetta, polenta, or even pasta.  However you tweak it (or make it as it), this recipe is a spring and summer weeknight winner.

One Year Ago: Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas and Green Bean Salad

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. soft goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  (You want to take the crunchy edge off but still have good color and bite.) Drain the asparagus and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the tomatoes and garlic.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the tomatoes soften and start to break down a little.

Stir in the vinegar and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the tomato mixture is thick and syrupy looking.  Stir in the salt.

Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish.  Top with the tomato mixture.  Sprinkle the goat cheese over the tomatoes and season to taste with pepper.

Serves 4.


  1. YES!! This is so up my alley! When we make this and enjoy it out on the dock this summer, we'll be sure to toast you.

  2. Monica - Oh man, that sounds so nice. Can I come join you??



Related Posts with Thumbnails