Making fries out of veggies is all the rage these days. Sweet potatoes, carrot fries and even lotus roots! Spring brings in such lovely produce, like asparagus. I was actually just snacking on a stalk the other day, eating it just like a carrot stick or a …. french fry! That was when it hit me. So I created a little gluten free ‘breading’ for it and roasted ’em just so.
Truth be told, mine got slightly more roasted than I wanted. Still great eating, but they folded over when I picked them up. So learn from me: choose the bigger stalks when purchasing them and under-roast them a bit. Their perfect for that appetizer table that never seems to have really healthy options on it.
Is it a roasted veggie or a veggie fry?? Could be both!
Crispy, Gluten Free, Breaded Asparagus
2 tbls pepitas
2 tbls hemp seeds
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp Aleppo or red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink or sea salt
1 bunch fresh asparagus, choose larger stalks
2 tbls virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Clean the asparagus. Then snap off the bottom of the stalk (it’s fibrous and doesn’t chew well); simply bend the stalk until it snaps. Save the fibrous ends for broth.
Pulse the pepitas in a mini food processor or blender to break down, stopping before creating a powder. Add the hemp seeds, lemon zest, pepper and salt. Pulse a few times to combine ingredients.
Pour the breading onto a rimmed plate. Pour the olive oil onto a second rimmed plate. Dip each asparagus in the oil and then roll really well in the crumbs. Set on the parchment-lined sheet pan. Repeat with remaining asparagus.
Bake 8-10 min for a crunchy asparagus (just be sure the breading is lightly browned and crispy). Or bake for 20 min for a more typical, softer roasted asparagus meant for a knife and fork. Enjoy!
Note: I like choosing a larger size asparagus when available, especially if you want to eat these more like fries (aka- using your fingers!)