Some vegetables just taste better when they are breaded and deep-fried – like eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, artichokes, and asparagus. Rarely do I make anything that requires deep-frying because I hate the clean-up afterwards. This breaded asparagus recipe takes all the fuss out of having to fry. The oven does the work for you and the clean-up is minimal. The asparagus is coated with seasoned bread crumbs and baked until browned and crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. They make a great appetizer or side dish.
BAKED BREADED ASPARAGUS
(Sparaci Inpanate al Forno/ Asparagi Inpanate al Forno)
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Make 4 servings.
1 bunch (about 1 pound) thick stem asparagus, trimmed
1 cup dry plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 garlic clove, finely minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Wash asparagus, dry thoroughly, and set aside.
Combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.
Place the flour on a large plate. Beat eggs until foamy and place in a large shallow bowl, large enough for the asparagus to fit it.
Working with one asparagus spear at a time, dip in the egg mixture to coat evenly, then dredge in flour. Dip in the egg mixture a second time and roll in the bread crumb mixture to coat evenly. Place on a large platter in a single layer.
Pour the oil in a 12-inch by 17-inch baking pan, coating the bottom of the pan evenly. Place on the bottom rack of the oven for 4 minutes, until heated. Lay the asparagus on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake on ower rack for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom is browned. Using a pair of tongs, turn the asparagus over and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the other side is browned.