Olive Garden Parmesan Roasted Asparagus was a recipe that was requested by so many of you, that I had to make a special trip out to one of my best-loved restaurants, the Olive Garden . They have a new menu item as part of their lighter fare, and let me tell you; it is delicious.
In the spring, you can get some of the best and freshest Asparagus. When I lived in Michigan, it is one of my favorite things was to drive home, (I lived out in the country) and to stop at the stalls along side the road. A bunch of fresh asparaguses would set you back about a dollar. While I lived there, my love of asparagus had me planting about 80 plants. I love asparagus.
This copycat, Olive Garden recipe, has asparagus simply grilled with a little dressing of oil and a sprinkling of salt. I had a squeeze of lemon juice just to bring out the flavor of the asparagus. I then reduce a small amount of balsamic vinegar, and make a Parmesan cheese sauce to pair with this. Does it get any better? I don’t think so when it comes to asparagus.
When buying fresh asparagus, I suggest that you look for smaller stalks they tend to be less woody. If your market keeps them on ice even better. I always like to turn over my asparagus and make sure it looks very well hydrated. If the ends look a little dry, you can always snip off the ends and soak the stalks in a bit of water so they will rehydrate.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. For those of you who are paleo, and gluten free, I have had given you a recipe you can enjoy as well.
If you don’t have access to a grill, you can cook your asparagus in the oven under your broiler.
More Asparagus Recipes
Olive Garden Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
Olive Garden Parmesan Roasted Asparagus is an appetizer that is served at the restaurant, you can make this asparagus side dish at home.
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for sauce
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese for garnish
- 1 lemon (optional)
- 2 teaspoons chopped tomatoes
Prepare balsamic vinegar reduction by adding 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small pot. Heat on high until the mixture boils, then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes. The reduction should yield 1/2 cup of vinegar. Store in an airtight container.
Prepare asparagus by cutting off about 1 inch of the bottom end of the asparagus, lay asparagus on a sheet pan drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast on medium heat on a grill for about 10 minutes turning the asparagus over.
Cooking time with vary with the thickness of the asparagus. Remove asparagus from grill when done. If desired squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the asparagus. I do not think the Olive Garden does this, but I think it really helps to bring out the flavor of the asparagus. Prepare Parmesan sauce by adding heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese in a small pot or skillet.
Simmer on low for about 10 - 12 minutes. The cream should reduce by 20% in volume. To prepare plate some of the cooked asparaguses on a plate, drizzle balsamic vinegar on top. Garnish with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and then serve with the sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes if desired.