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I wrote “Brussels sprouts” on my shopping list the other day, but at the store I put asparagus in my cart, instead. It wasn’t like I was unaware of doing it or confused one for the other, I just suddenly decided I’d rather have asparagus. When I got home, I wondered why I hadn’t just gotten the planned Brussels sprouts! My subconcious must have guided me, because when I actually thought about it the next day, I came up with a fun idea to try and it was delicious. If I’d stuck to my shopping list, I wouldn’t have created this tasty dish of roast asparagus with Paelo-friendly mustard shallot “cream” sauce!
I put the cream in quotation marks up there because this recipe is dairy-free – it uses coconut milk, instead! When you’re making the sauce, you’ll probably think I’ve asked you to add way too much liquid, but just let it simmer down. Adding the chicken broth helps tame the coconut flavor! To make the recipe vegetarian, just use water, instead, or your favorite vegetarian broth. Also, if you’ve never prepared asparagus before and are unfamiliar with how to snap off the woody stem portions, you can see a more thorough description in my roast asparagus recipe on HubPages.
I have to admit that I sometimes enjoy plain yellow mustard, but this recipe is neither the time nor the place! Instead, use your favorite spicy/deli mustard or a mustard with nice whole mustard seeds in it for maximum flavor.
The recipe is broken up into two sections, one for the asparagus and one for the sauce, but this dish works best when you cook the two simultaneously. If you preheat the oven while preparing the asparagus and shallots and then start cooking the shallots when you put the asparagus in the oven, everything should finish up around the same time.
- 1 pound (1 bunch) of asparagus
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided ( I used olive oil, but coconut works well, too)
- 2 medium shallot bulbs, sliced thin
- ½ a cup of coconut milk (the kind from a can, not the type you put on cereal!)
- ¼-1/2 a cup of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of mustard - whole grain, spicy, or 'deli-style'
- ½ a teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash the asparagus and snap the woody end portions off.
- Place an oven rack in the medium position and preheat the broiler on high.
- Once the asparagus is dry, place it in a single layer in a rimmed baking sheet. Add a tablespoon of oil and a bit of salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste. Shake to distribute the oil and spices.
- Place the sheet of asparagus on the middle rack of your preheated oven and set a timer for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, use a pair of tongs to roll each asparagus spear a half turn so that the side previously facing up is now facing down.
- Continue broiling the asparagus until it begins to become dark in spots (but don't let it burn!), about 4-6 minutes more. Remove from the oven and transfer the asparagus to your serving dish or individual plates.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a skillet on a medium-heat burner. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the shallots and stir them to coat them with oil. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Continue stirring occasionally and and cook until the shallots are translucent and soft, but not crispy and dark.
- Add the coconut milk and chicken broth. Use a nylon spatula to scrape the pan's bottom and remove any tasty crispy bit and then stir to thoroughly combine.
- Add the mustard and stir until it is completely combined into the liquid and no clumps of mustard remain. Add the dried thyme and quickly mix it in.
- Allow the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom to prevent burning. When you're satisfied with its thickness, remove it from the heat.
- Pour the sauce over the prepared asparagus and serve!
I think this sauce is way better than what I was planning to do with Brussels sprouts, so I’m glad my subconscious guided my cart to the asparagus, instead!
If you’re like me an enjoy some ‘clean eating’ recipes, even if you’re not strict Paleo, you may enjoy some of these other recipe favorites on the blog!
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