Roasted Asparagus with Bacon and Feta Cheese
In any great meal there are four elements, a salad, a meat, a starch, and a vegetable. On most menus vegetables are given last place, rather an afterthought, but with roasted asparagus it becomes a highlight of the meal, especially when surrounded by our recommended broiled steak and broasted potatoes.
In the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, it will be impossible to get locally grown fresh asparagus around Valentine's Day. However, very nice asparagus should be available at local supermarkets. Even frozen asparagus can be used to advantage in this recipe. Although canned asparagus has its own appeal, it probably would not work out here.
2 pounds of asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
2 ounces Hormel bacon bits
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon finely crushed dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Rinse asparagus, remove 1 inch or so from the base of the stalks (any tough parts). Cut the remaining stalks into one-inch pieces and toss into a 9X13 glass baking dish. Dribble in olive oil and coat asparagus by tossing again. Sprinkle on chives, parsley, cilantro, basil, bacon, and pepper. Set oven to 400° F or 225° C (no need to preheat) and insert asparagus. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove pan, spread feta cheese over asparagus. Serve immediately.