I think there are two kinds of people. Those who like asparagus, and those who don’t. My family loves the stalky little trees and gobbles them up whenever they are served….up to and including my sometimes fickle 2 year old. We had this roasted balsamic glazed asparagus recently and she had at least 7 spears all by herself! She actually wanted the green stalks over pasta and her beloved chicken. From day to day, we just roll with it. The little lady can love love love mac and cheese one day and turn her nose up at it the next. The asparagus train may only be a short one in this house so we ride it while we can. Quandaries!
So, this asparagus dish is super simple and flavorful if you are looking for a very quick side dish. And, the fabulous news is, I looked at this recipe and thought, “self, how can I make this recipe a little more waist friendly because Summer is coming and we don’t want to resemble a pale orca…ya know self?” So, self decided to eliminate a bunch of butter and it turns out it doesn’t even need it. All that’s needed is a smidge to make this work. To make these balsamic glazed asparagus spears you only need a little bit of the fat in the butter…the rest of the flavor is in good ol’ fashioned salt and pepper, low sodium soy sauce, and the way underused balsamic vinegar. The trick here with the minimal butter sauce is to make sure you turn all your spears on the pan to coat them after you pour on the butter/soy/balsamic glaze.
I am a HUGE fan of Weight Watchers and when I am feeling like I want to be more disciplined, I follow it. It has helped me here and there to crack the whip on my self when my jeans feel a little snug. No one likes that feeling. This dish, is very low in points as most veggies are free on the program…meaning, you can eat as many as you want and you aren’t “charged” for it out of your daily intake. Fantastic! Serve em up!
This dish literally takes a few minutes of actual prep. Just wash the asparagus spears and trim the woody ends off. If you like to use your hands, simply bend the fresh stalk of asparagus using a little pressure and it will automatically break off the woody stem part at just the right point, like it was meant to be. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non stick oil like canola or coconut. Arrange the spears in a single layer. Lightly salt and pepper. Bam. Place in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Check the stalk at the end to see if it is roasted to your liking. (Thicker stalks may require 2 more minutes but careful, too al dente is no bueno and mushy limp asparagus is even worse!)
While the asparagus is roasting in the oven, you can use this time to melt the very minimal amount of butter in a small heavy bottomed sauce pan.
Once the asparagus is finished in the oven, just drizzle the butter balsamic glaze in a single line over the asparagus spears. It’s ok. You will think that this isn’t nearly enough butter balsamic sauce for this. “I’ve been cheated…I’ve put a little work into this and now I need to make more glaze? ugg!” Trust me…it is just enough for the flavor and limits the calories and fat. (But, if you absolutely must have more glaze, that is easy to solve too..double the ingredients and ta-daaa!)
After you scrape out every last drop of the butter balsamic glaze from the pan, onto the asparagus, simply start sliding your asparagus spears around on the cookie sheet. A lot of the glaze will fall onto the cookie sheet as you pour it anyway so use it to coat your spears.
All the best!
- Approx. 40 Asparagus Spears
- Canola No Stick Spray
- Salt and Pepper
- (Note-I make this sauce to be as low fat and cal as possible while maintaining the flavor. If you desire more sauce, simply double the amounts below.)
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 Tsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 3/4 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash asparagus. Trim the woody end off the asparagus spears. (Tip- if you bend fresh asparagus, it naturally breaks off where the woody end starts.)
- Spray a cookie sheet with a quick burst of canola spray. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on the cookie sheet.Sprinkle salt and pepper over the washed asparagus.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- While the asparagus is baking, add the butter to a small heavy bottomed sauce pan. Melt the butter over med/low heat. Heat the butter until you begin to see small dark brown specs in the butter. Remove from heat immediately. Stir in the soy sauce and balsamic.
- When the asparagus are finished in the oven, drizzle the butter/balsamic mixture over the asparagus and slide the spears around on the cookie sheet to ensure every piece has some of the butter balsamic glaze on it. You can keep this warm in a 200 degree oven for up to 10 minutes or serve immediately.
Weight Watchers Points 1.5 points per serving