Spring is FINALLY here! Technically it was here in March however I am not sure about your neck of the woods but it has been chilly here so far. Not anymore though and it is time to fire up your grills and enjoy all the wonderful fresh fruits and veggies that are in season.
I have already been strawberry picking twice for my family. We love them! We also love nuts! I don’t cook with them as often as I could but after seeing all the recipes on the Fisher Nuts website I will be now! Fisher continues to partner with Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and she adds some pretty fantastic sounding dishes to their recipe library. I just love Chef Alex on Chopped but did you know that she recently won on Food Network’s Iron Chef? Congratulations! I looked over all of Chef Alex’s spring recipes and decided to make the Asparagus with Walnuts.
This dish was SUPER easy to make and was ready in just a few minutes, the hard part was not eating all the walnuts the minute I opened them. With grocery stores and farmer’s markets getting in fresh local asparagus my family has been eating it like crazy. What I liked most about this recipe is that it is served cold. Perfect to make ahead of time for a party because it gets better marinating in the dressing. Yum!
Asparagus with Walnuts
- 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 pound fairly thin “pencil” asparagus, ends trimmed and discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup Fisher® Walnut Halves
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Fill a large bowl halfway with ice cubes and add some cold water. Place a colander squarely inside the ice bath. The colander will keep you from having to pick the asparagus out from amongst the ice cubes in the ice bath.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. You want them to be crunchy. If the asparagus are thicker, cook for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
- Remove the asparagus from the water using a slotted spoon and transfer them to the colander inside the ice bath. Move them around gently so the ice water penetrates the asparagus and accelerates the cooling process. Vegetables take longer than you think to cool so allow them to sit a few minutes in the ice water. Hold a piece of the asparagus in your hand for a few seconds to assure that it’s really cool (even in the center). If the piece still feels warm, allow them to cool longer in the ice bath. Place them on a kitchen towel to drain any excess moisture.
- Heat oil a medium skillet until hot (but not smoking), add the walnuts and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. They should bubble and fry slightly in the oil. When you can smell the walnuts, add the paprika and cayenne and lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Set aside.
- Toss the asparagus in the bowl with the walnuts and the oil. Let this mixture sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or a few minutes. When ready to serve, stir in the lemon juice. Serve immediately.
In an effort to get my family to eat more healthy I am buying less processed foods. My two older girls are in elementary school and I have to send in a snack everyday. This year I stumbled on a granola bar recipe that has become a staple snack in our home. Full of oats and nuts they are tasty, filling, and energy boosting. All the girls love them and I change some of the ingredients so they won’t get bored eating the same snack everyday. Some weeks I will put dark chocolate chips with coconut and almonds while other times I will add sun butter and milk chocolate chips and walnuts. Here is my basic recipe that I originally found on Pinterest but I changed for my family’s taste.
Homemade Healthy Granola Bars
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cups flax seed
- 1/2 cup sesame seed
- 1 cup of nuts or sunflower seeds (or both)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pure honey
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
Toast the oats, flax seeds, sesame seeds and nuts for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees. Mix coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar and heat in microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Mix toasted items with liquid and put mixture in a 13×9 oiled pan. After chilled cut bars and eat!
I store these in the fridge during the week and just grab one out every day for the girls. My favorite is the coconut, dark chips, and Fisher Nuts Natural Sliced Almonds.
*I am working with Fisher Nuts to share Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipes and create my own original recipe using Fisher Nuts and tools they provided. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.