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Roasted Asparagus with Buttery Breadcrumbs

Scott Phillips

Servings: four as a side dish.

For the crumbs, choose a baguette or countrystyle loaf made with only flour, water, yeast and salt. (Avoid bread with sugar, eggs or seasonings.) The two-step method for breadcrumbs results in a more consistent texture.


  • 2 oz. day-old bread, crust removed, or four 1/2-inch-thick baguette slices
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 150
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 70
  • Fat (g): 8
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 370
  • Carbohydrates (g): 15
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 5


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 250ºF. Put the bread in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until they’re dry and lightly crisped, about 20 minutes. Let cool and then grind again in the processor to get a scant 1/4 cup of fine crumbs.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over moderately low heat. Add the breadcrumbs and thyme. Cook slowly, stirring often, until the crumbs are a uniform deep golden brown, about 18 min. Season with 1/8 tsp. salt and set aside to let cool. The crumbs will crisp as they cool.
  • Raise the oven temperature to 450ºF. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with the olive oil. Using your hands, toss the spears to coat evenly with the oil. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Roast until the spears are tender and lightly blistered, 12 to 14 min. for medium spears. Transfer them to a platter or individual plates, sprinkle with the lemon juice, and top with the breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.


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