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 alongside the road. A bunch of fresh asparagus 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 added 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
- Longhorn Steakhouse Encrusted Asparagus
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Swiss Asparagus Casserole
- Asparagus with Cream Sauce
- Chez L.A. Chicken and Asparagus Lasagna
Olive Garden Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
- 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 the 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.
Recipe Tips for the Cook
- If you can only find large asparagus, you can peel the stalk with a vegetable peeler, this will peel away the tough part of the asparagus!