Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Garlic Reduction
I get sad whenever someone tells me that bacon is unhealthy and that I shouldn’t eat it.
Not because I agree with them and lament my choice to partake in its porky goodness, but because its supposed “bad qualities” overpower all the good things bacon has to offer. For instance, it’s delicious, and it can be used with just about anything (read: versatility).
Not only that, but bacon is also a power food. When you really think about it, bacon offers healthy (yes, healthy!) fats and a good amount of protein, causing some to assert that a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs is actually better for you than one comprised of whole wheat toast and fruit. This is because it keeps you fuller for a longer period of time, and it doesn’t spike your insulin like a bagel would, which helps you avoid mid-morning (and mid-afternoon, and mid-evening) energy crashes.
Of course, if you’re like me, you tend to stray away from grains anyway, so this may not come as much of a surprise. But for those of you who claim to feel your arteries harden at the thought of eating fatty bacon, don’t panic; eating fat won’t kill you. In fact, it’s vital to your health, and avoiding fat can even cause mood disorders, like depression.
So why am I rambling about bacon and fat while sounding like a crazy person? Well, partially because I’m kind of obsessed with it, but also because I’ve got a really great recipe that I’d like to share with you, and I don’t want you to scoff at me when you see the alleged “health abomination” I’m about to place in front of you.
Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus in Garlic Lemon Reduction
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour | Serves: 2-4 people
- 1 large bundle (1lb) fresh asparagus
- 8-10 slices bacon
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 C. butter
- 1/2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 325 F.
- Wrap 4-5 pieces of asparagus with one piece of bacon apiece, from right below the tips down to the end of the stalk (don’t worry, bacon is stretchy). You may need to use more or less asparagus per bundle depending on the size of the stalks.
- Place the bundles on a lightly greased pan, evenly spaced by about 1/2-inch, and put them in the oven for about 1 hour.
- As the asparagus cooks, grab a medium-sized sauce pan and melt the butter with the chicken stock and lemon juice over medium heat. Stir well to avoid any burned butter.
- After the mixture comes to a soft boil, add the minced garlic, salt and ground pepper, and stir well.
- Let the mixture reduce on medium-low heat (make sure it doesn’t go into a hard boil—keep it at a soft boil) for 40 minutes.
- With 5 minutes left on the clock for the asparagus, remove them from the oven for a moment, drizzle the reduction lightly and evenly over the bundles, then put them back in the oven. Broil them on high for the last 3 minutes to get nice, crispy asparagus tips.
Serve hot as a side to any of your favorite “light” foods—grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, or baked white fish.
Now, go ahead and tell me that isn’t delicious.