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Categories: Appetizers, Vegetarian

Asparagus with hazelnuts and seasoned currants

Asparagus with hazelnuts and seasoned currants
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

I've always loved Passover, ever since I was a little girl. Long before I understood it as the Festival of Freedom that celebrates the ancient Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt, to me it was the holiday of difference. Indeed, ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh young asparagus, trimmed (or frozen green beans, defrosted)
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups dried currants
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and pour in the hazelnut oil. Roll the asparagus in the oil to coat well and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast until a sharp knife easily pierces a spear, 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Step 2While the asparagus is roasting, place the hazelnuts in a single layer in a baking pan. Place the pan in the oven with the asparagus and toast the nuts until they are a rich brown color and are fragrant, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove the nuts and immediately pour them onto a large, damp towel. Rub the nuts with the towel to loosen and peel the skins. Coarsely chop the nuts (you can also place them in a large sealable plastic bag and pound with a mallet to break up the nuts).

Step 3In a small bowl, mix together the chopped hazelnuts, currants, olive oil, vinegar, thyme, garlic and one-eighth teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Place the asparagus on a serving platter and top with the currant mixture. Serve immediately. The asparagus can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance: Cover the asparagus tightly with plastic wrap and chill, then return to the roasting pan to briefly reheat before serving.

Each of 8 servings
238 calories; 3 grams protein; 23 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 17 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 19 grams sugar; 298 mg sodium.
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