roasted asparagus with bacon

I have to admit something.

Last night I fell asleep on the couch really late watching the Olympics. BMX was on. For some reason, I had to watch. So, anyway, I fell asleep on the couch, neck stooped on the armrest in a dreadfully unnatural position, mouth agape drooling on my chair pillow, with one leg hanging off the side from under the quilt my grandmother made me. I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a BMX rerun on. My crazy body had to stay up and watch it, like I didn’t know what the outcome was gonna be. All this to say, my plan of shopping like a chef and waking up real early to go to the farmers’ market was a little bit scoffed. Although the same cheerful, bouncy farmers were there, I got there just before closing and there wasn’t much left on the tables. Then, as I was looking through some peaches and whatnot, the sky opened up and, with a beastly roar, let out about two billion gallons of water on Columbia. I think rain is beautiful, but it was kind of the cue for everyone at the market to skedaddle. So, I drove on to EarthFare.

I picked up some plums, looked at berries, and then spotted asparagus, standing vertically in a tantalizing visual. Now, asparagus is in season in South Carolina in Spring, maybe June or July if you’re lucky. It’s August. This is what I’m admitting. In a desperate craving, I snatched that bundle up and shoved it in my cart and went on shopping. I try to get lots of ingredients locally and try to cook with stuff that’s in season. After all, those two things go hand in hand. But I cheated this time. And it’s okay. I’m pretty sure this asparagus was from Peru, for crying out loud. I guess what I’m trying to say is, yes, eat and shop locally, but it’s okay to not be legalistic about it. If you try, even in the tiniest, teensiest bit, well, then, that’s just fantastic.

roasted asparagus with bacon
prep time: 5 minutes cook time: 15 minutes yield: 4 servings
1 pound asparagus
4 slices minimally processed bacon
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400º. Trim the asparagus by bending the end and letting it snap off naturally. Use that spot as a guide to cut the ends from the rest of the asparagus. Slice the bacon into 1/2″ pieces.
In a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus, bacon pieces, and a few grinds of pepper together with a small amount of olive oil (you don’t need much; the bacon will create its own grease). Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the bacon is cooked through.

Asparagus is a good source of fiber and has a buttload of vitamins and nutrients. Did you really have a guess, though? It’s green. And it grows out of the ground. I feel like that’s the precursor to the majority of food items with nutritional value. Plus, it’s really pretty. And it makes your exiting body fluids smell weird. Oh my gosh. Did I really just say that for the entire world to read? Cue red face and laugh track.

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