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March 27, 2016

ROASTED ASPARAGUS CARROT BUNDLES WITH WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE DRIZZLE

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These Roasted Asparagus Carrot Bundles with Walnuts and Goat Cheese Drizzle are a burst of spring  flavors on a plate. Not only is this healthy veggie side dish going to make your family happy, it is also fancy enough for entertaining.

Roasted Asparagus Carrot Bundles with Walnuts and Goat Cheese Drizzle
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It's the end of another holiday weekend. I hope you are not feeling too guilty about what you ate. Did you have more ham, lamb, and fixin's than you should have? Were the desserts too good to pass up? Was the Easter Bunny too generous with the chocolates and other confections?

If the answer is yes to any or all of the above, then these asparagus bundles will help offset the guilt of any excessive dietary indiscretion. These bundles are tasty, colorful, and healthy. Asparagus and parboiled carrots are bundled in a hollowed out tomato and roasted simply with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. They are served with a goat cheese, sour cream,  and lemon drizzle. For a finishing touch, chopped walnut adds crunch and interest.



Roasted Asparagus Carrot Bundles with Walnuts and Goat Cheese Drizzle


These little bundles will make any ordinary family meal feel special. They are particularly ideal for entertaining. Both the veggie bundles and the drizzle can easily be made a couple days ahead—slightly undercook the bundles, then on the day of, reheat for a few minutes. Garnish and serve. Your guests will surely be impressed with this simple side!

Roasted Asparagus Carrot Bundles with Walnuts and Goat Cheese Drizzle

I have to digress and apologize for the lighting in these photos. I'm not very happy with it. It was a gloomy, rainy day when I shot the pictures. As expected, the lighting was nowhere near optimal. My limited editing capabilities allowed the exposure to increase only so much before the goat cheese drizzle was completely overexposed. So, this is as good as it's gonna get today, folks. Sorry!

Roasted Asparagus Carrot Bundles with Walnuts and Goat Cheese Drizzle

Anyway, enjoy the last few days of March. I'm looking forward to April showers (not really!)—it does bring forth May flowers. Yah!!

Have a wonderful week!

                                                                         

ROASTED ASPARAGUS CARROT BUNDLES WITH WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE DRIZZLE

                                                                                     
   


INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch asparagus
2-3 medium carrots
6- 7 large plum tomatoes
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the Drizzle:
4 tbsp. goat cheese
3 tbsp. low fat sour cream
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. milk
1/8 tsp. salt



DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut 1/3 off the bottom of each asparagus spear. Peel and cut carrots to roughly 1/3-inch thick sticks and as long as the asparagus spears. Boil carrots until they are cooked about half way (somewhat tender and not droopy), about 5 minutes. Remove carrots and place in a bowl with plenty of cold water to cool.

Remove carrots and place in a platter. Add asparagus. Drizzle and coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Cut both ends off the tomatoes. Run a slender, pointed knife around the inside of the tomato wall to hollow out the pulp and seeds inside. Discard or reserve the pulp for sauces or whatever else you want.

Insert two carrot sticks and 3-4 asparagus spears (depending on the thickness of your asparagus and the diameter of the tomatoes) through each of the hollowed out tomato. Place bundles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the tomatoes with the any residual oil from the platter. Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until carrots and asparagus are tender crisp. Baking time varies depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

While bundles are baking, prepare drizzle. If needed, soften goat cheese for a few seconds in the microwave. Add the remaining ingredients. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

To serve, pipe the goat cheese drizzle over the bundles. Sprinkle with walnuts. Makes 6 to 7 bundles.




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14 comments:

  1. I think the photos are gorgeous! It's funny how we're always our own worst critic.
    These veggie bundles look delicious! I would love eating these for dinner (all of them, myself, muhahaha) after a weekend of eating way too much of everything.

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    1. You are so kind, Amanda! We are our own worst critic. But I decided to stop sweating the small stuff on this one. :)

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  2. Our Easter was very relaxing... I didn't eat too much of anything naughty, but then again when you are allergic to cocoa, it's easy to not indulge in chocolate! ;) Hope you guys had a fabulous Easter weekend, Thao! LOVE these little bundles! I could eat plain roasted asparagus by the sheet pan, so I am LOVING these! So cute and I just love the tomato as the "string"!! And I don't know what you are talking about, the photos are great! <3 Cheers, dear! xo

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    Replies
    1. There is a bright side to having a cocoa allergy after all! There are a lot of us who are having chocolate remorse today :( But not you, Chey! I'm a fan of relaxing holidays at home doing your own thang. Ours was good. We spent it at my in-laws. I'm glad there were some of these bundles in the fridge today because I needed to eat the guilt of today's chocolates, cake, and chips away. Thanks for being sweet about the pics! Have a great week my friend!!

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  3. The bundles look really appetizing! And our Easter weekend was really nice and relaxing, and due to the fact that all four of us were still recovering after a nasty gastroenteritis (I had to google the translation for that), we were not able to indulge too much and that was definitely not a bad thing. :)

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Adina! That kind of stuff can take a lot out of you. I hope everyone is recovering. Hopefully, you all can indulge a little when everyone is better!

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  4. Asparagus, carrots, and tomatoes with a goat cheese drizzle? Yes to all that!!! I would put that goat cheese sauce on everything too ;) ps I wish my photos looked this good on gloomy, rainy days :)

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    1. Spoken like my kind of gal, Karrie! I'm glad you're saying yes to all that! But now you're being hard on yourself because I think your pictures are great and swoon-worthy. I think we both need to go get a chocolate pick-me-up. ;)

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  5. Such a gorgeous, tasty side dish! This would have been perfect on our Easter menu :)

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    1. Thanks Liz. Yes, it would have been perfect. I hope you had a great Easter!

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  6. You are not sastified with your pictures but I see them beautiful. Your decoration is excellent and your asparagus recipe looks yummy and healthy. Thanks Thao for sharing your recipe.

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  7. I love asparagus and this recipe is amazing! I will have to give it a try!

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    1. I hope you will try it, Agness. I'd love to know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

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