Cooked on the BBQ or hot griddle pan until just tender, these asparagus spears (or swap for another green vegetable in season) are topped with a delicious and crunchy topping of breadcrumbs, chopped nuts, seeds, lemon zest and parmesan. Finished with a scattering of goat cheese crumbles, olive oil and balsamic.
Don’t let the word “pangrattato” make you think this is an overly fancy or complicated recipe. It just means literally ‘grated bread’ in Italian… a.k.a. some kind of bread crumb mixture… a.k.a. savoury sprinkles. And any kind of topping like that would work beautifully here. I mixed my breadcrumbs with some chopped nuts, seeds, herbs and a little parmesan. And to finish I sprinkled some goat cheese crumbs over the top, because that makes anything taste better!
I love this kind of vegetable side dish recipe because it can literally go with anything: Fish, chicken, steak, or be a lovely vegetarian dish too. Many times when we eat meat free meals, I tend to just put 2-3 vegetable side dishes together and find that makes a stunning meal. I would much prefer to just celebrate the vegetables than try and make a meat replacement, anyway.
We served our asparagus on the side with some pan-fried fish with a dollop of aioli underneath that. So yummy and the whole meal was low carb, too! Having recently lost 25lbs by reducing carbs, I’m always trying to come up with recipes that are both low carb and delicious. But you see, now we are also trying to eat less meat! But I do believe that it is possible to eat meat free and also follow a low carb diet. Its all about fish, LOADS of vegetables, and beans. We have been eating very well since trying it, and trust me – I am not a dieting type of person. Well, I’m a chef and food blogger to start with – never met one of those who didn’t love their food!
This dish makes an elegant change up to the usual holiday side dish. If asparagus isn’t in season as it is here in Australia, you could use any green veggie – long stem broccoli, green beans, halved brussel sprouts, etc. And if grilling on the BBQ isn’t an option, just simply use an indoor griddle pan. (Check out my write up of this excellent one by Chasseur.) The char marks give a nice appearance and extra interesting caramelised flavour. If you need to prepare this dish in advance, keep the veggies topped with the pangrattato warm in or near the oven and just dress with the goat cheese crumbles and olive oil/balsamic at the end just before serving.
Want more side dish recipes? Try this Maple Jalepeno Ranch Slaw, Herb Salad with Butternut and Chickpeas, Crunchy and Fresh Broccoli Pea Salad , Honey Lime Raw Vegetable Side Salad, or Wilted Greens with Creamy Sesame Dressing.
Here is your side dish recipe: Grilled Asparagus with Goat Cheese Pangrattato:
- 2 bunches asparagus
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup mixed nuts and seeds
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- zest of ½ lemon
- 2 Tbsp soft goat cheese
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper
- Make the pangratatto by roasting the nuts, seeds and panko in a 350F/180C oven for 10 minutes. Place in a food processor (or chop by hand) until roughly pebble sized. Place in a bowl and mix with the parmesan, lemon zest, parsley and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Stir through and set aside.
- Heat a grill pan or bbq to hot.
- Toss the asparagus in 1 tsp of olive oil and grill for 3-5 minutes until just tender. Stack on a plate, season with salt and pepper.
- Top with some pangrattato, then crumble the goat cheese on top.
- Drizzle with 1 tsp oil and balsamic vinegar.