I’m always hesitant to say something is “the best”, but honestly, this 3 ingredient asparagus recipe is the best I’ve ever made, or eaten. And I take zero credit for it’s brilliance, as it comes from The Pretty Dish cookbook, created by Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats.
Do you love her blog as much as I do? Her writing makes me feel like I’m talking to my best girlfriend, letting you into her real life, who talks about all the things she loves from food to makeup (the book also includes 50 Beauty DIYs!), clothes, celebrity gossip, music, vacations, her children….. which I appreciate because it brings out the feminine side of me that sometimes gets lost.
I had the opportunity to spend a weekend with Jessica last year, and I can tell you she is every bit of wonderful – humble and down to earth, a contagious energy, and the ability to make me belly laugh without even trying. And through this book, you’ll find that exact same person, along with 150 delicious recipes with a stunning, vibrant photo for each and every one of them. She even includes party menus, and her favorite playlists!
I picked this baked asparagus recipe to share with you since spring is finally here (even though we’re getting snow today in Minnesota 😐), and Easter is this Sunday. As Jessica says, “Asparagus is one of the few veggies I can take to a gathering and know that it will be eaten with gusto.”
And eaten with gusto it was, in this house. Brian and I ate every single spear straight off the pan. Here’s the 3 ingredient winning combination (note that there are also olive oil, salt, and pepper in the recipe but I don’t count those, as we all have those in our kitchen):
- smoky salty bacon
- the umami of parmesan
- and the golden child of spring — asparagus
I altered the recipe slightly, using a tablespoon of the bacon fat that had rendered, to replace half of the olive oil called for. And it paid off in the form of richly flavored spears from the inside out, and crunchy tips. I also must have spaced out for a second while making the recipe, because the shallot I bought from the list of ingredients never made it into the pan. Oops! But that little mistake didn’t seem to hurt the end result. And it certainly keeps things simple.
Some of the other recipes I can’t wait to make from The Pretty Dish, which you can buy here are:
- Marinated Chickpeas!
- Cucumber Gin Fizz
- Butternut Squash Queso
- Peach Panzanella Salad with Burrata
- Strawberry Almond Mascarpone Tart
If you make this baked asparagus recipe, please let me know! Bookmark it and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #heartbeetkitchen.
- 3 slices bacon, diced
- 1 pound asparagus, wood stems removed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of the fat rendered from the cooked bacon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until some of the fat is rendered and the bacon just begins to crisp, but does not get super brown and crispy. Remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve one tablespoon of the bacon fat left in the pan, and set aside.
- Place the asparagus on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the tablespoon of rendered bacon fat and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then toss with hands to coat. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of parmesan and all the bacon.
- Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until the asparagus become a bit crispy and brown. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan before serving.
- I consider this a 3 ingredient recipe, as the salt, pepper, and olive oil are things that should always be in pantry.
- The original recipe comes from The Pretty Dish Cookbook, which calls for a shallot, finely chopped, that you add at the same time you add the bacon in the recipe. You can certainly make it that way if you'd like!