French Fridays with Dorie – Asparagus and Bits of Bacon

April is kind of a face your fears month for me in French Fridays. I am not an asparagus lover and just wait for next week’s post about sardine rillettes. It’s gonna be sick! Seriously. I haven’t even looked up what navarin printanier is yet. I’m kind of afraid. So yeah, I have to face asparagus, sardines, coconut and whatever navarin is all in one month. Is it obvious I didn’t take French? It wasn’t even offered at my school. Wait, that’s not true, you could take it from the local community college via CCTV or something. I chose German. Not one of my smarter decisions. Spanish would have been useful but my dad wanted me to do that so clearly, German was the attractive choice. Sorry Daddy, you were right.

Anyway, back to the asparagus. I know it’s a spring staple and everyone jumps up and down when it’s available fresh and everything but I have never really seen the appeal. The only time I have ever truly loved asparagus was when one of our cooking class chefs grilled it and then drizzled it with balsamic vinegar. So I decided to kind of blend that idea with this recipe. So here’s all the components chillaxing on the counter while the rolls and meatloaf were baking

I will say this for asparagus, it’s really cool looking. I love the close up photo I took of it that heads this post. I never realized how much purple prettiness was happening with asparagus. Instead of boiling it like the recipe suggested,  I heated up my grill pan, brushed some olive oil on and grilled the stalks for about 5 minutes until the grill marks were evident and the tops were looking a little wilty.

I sliced the bacon before cooking it because I really hate getting my hands all greasy breaking it up after it’s cooked and I threw the onion in a few minutes before the bacon was done so it could cook a little. I know Dorie said the onion shouldn’t cook at all but I was already changing so much I just thought, “What the hell?” When the asparagus was all done, I drizzled it with some really yummy balsamic vinegar and a little lemon juice and then sprinkled the bacon/onion mix over the top. You’ll notice I make no mention of walnuts or walnut oil. I’ve previously mentioned my nut aversion and when I read the ingredient list and saw walnut oil I knew I was going to sub in something else. I guess maybe the balsamic is taking its place? I just couldn’t justify buying a costly nut oil that I didn’t think I would even like when I know I LOVE balsamic and always have some on hand. It is clearly some kind of nectar of the gods. It’s my ambrosia. And before you go getting all impressed with my knowledge of ancient Greek and mythical foods, I’m going to admit that I learned this from reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Yeah, I’m pretty awesome.

I actually really liked this recipe. Tristan said “Thank god for bacon!” but I think I might be turning into someone who likes asparagus. It’s pretty exciting actually. To go with our lovely spring side dish I made some slightly smashed potatoes with chives and parsley (and lots of butter), meatloaf, and no-knead focaccia rolls. Everything was good, but the rolls! The rolls! I think I will dream about eating them tonight. I love homemade bread so when I saw these on Budget Bytes the other day, I knew I was going to have a love affair with them. They are so good – please make them! I brushed mine with some herb oil before baking and I thought they had so much flavor that I didn’t even put butter on them! Yes, you read that correctly – NO BUTTER!

And to end things on a SUPER high note, here’s a pic of Tristan’s plate before he attacked it like a baby dinosaur! Name the movie in the comments if you can. I’m almost embarrassed to be quoting it, no scratch that, I am embarrassed, but it was cute! And it’s on Netflix Watch Instantly right now, allowing me to watch it multiple times while I do housework and such. That is all.

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21 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie – Asparagus and Bits of Bacon

  1. The focaccia rolls look wonderful.
    I was looking forward to this one – but the rest of the month scares me for sure. (The navarin prin. is a lamb stew, I think…) Hang in there, together, we can get through April’s recipes!

  2. LOL, how great that you fell in love with it! I love that everyone is so terrified about the navarin, its just a simple lamb stew with young veggies! I was worried about a couple of the recipes too but I’m actually looking forward to the sardine rilletes after I read through it, wierd? 🙂
    Your rolls look great too!

  3. I usually sautee my my asparagus as well, with a little olive oil, salt & thyme. I think that it is the best way to do asparagus (unless you have a grill). But I thought this week’s Dorie recipe had enough flavor added to make up for the boiled asparagus. And yours looks delicious!

  4. I love your writing style. Thank you for inspiring me to join! Hannah and I had a blast and I am looking forward to next week (I love sardines, sick I know). German was NOT a mistake, as a former German teacher I feel obligated to post that.

    Your meal looked amazing!

    Maybe Susan you and I could combine blogs and cooking one week????

  5. When i make this, i’ll be grilling my asparagus, too. It just tastes better than boiled. Your dinner looks delicious. Any meal with fresh bread looks delicious to me.

  6. I’m not touching the sardine rillettes… I conquered enough when I ate the salmon rillettes during Dorie’s class! 🙂 Love that you grilled the asparagus. I bet it was amazing! 🙂

  7. I so agree with you about balsamic vinegar. I always have several different flavors of it in my pantry. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and I am glad that you are starting to enjoy it. Enjoyed reading your post. I hope you have a great Easter!

  8. A nice adaptation you did there combination a preferred preparation with this recipe from Dorie Greenspan. I imagine the char flavour from grilling would go perfectly with the smoky bacon. Nice touch!

    Looks like a delicious meal you put together!

  9. Your asparagus look great! That’s what I love about this group, it really challenges you and pushes you out of your comfort zone! And I know I wouldn’t choose to go there on my own!!

  10. I think that grilling the asparagus was brilliant! I’ll have to try that. And I’m definitely going to try those rolls. Glad to hear you like asparagus more than you thought. Have a great weekend.

  11. I don’t know what the navarin thing is either and I don’t care for sardines, so I am happy about the asparagus and coconut! Your dinner looks delicious and the focaccia rolls sounds wonderful.

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