I thought I’d end the week with a recipe that is perfect for a lazy weekend brunch: asparagus with pomegranate syrup. I was first introduced to this delightful combination by our friends Demet and Onur, who grew up in Turkey. They had us over to their house earlier this year and served us a fantastic Turkish feast. The evening started off with drinks and steamed asparagus served in a pool of olive oil and pomegranate syrup.
I was completely taken with the asparagus and ate more than my fair share! I decided to serve this dish for Easter brunch and made a few adjustments. First, I roasted the asparagus, rather than steaming it, because I like how roasting emphasizes asparagus’ earthy flavor. I also made my own pomegranate syrup because I couldn’t find the bottled brand that Demet used. And, because I was short on olive oil, I just drizzled a bit over the top. I was quite pleased with how it turned out.
The dish is quick and easy to fix and really very good. I could easily eat the entire plate by myself!
Roasted Asparagus with Pomegranate Syrup
I adapted the Pomegranate Syrup from this recipe by Alton Brown.
For the syrup you’ll need:
2 cups Pomegranate juice
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
For the asaparagus you’ll need:
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
To make the pomegranate syrup, stir together the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice in a sauce pan over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves. Then, turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, until the juice reduces by half and forms a thick syrup (it should coat the back of a spoon, but still flow in a nice stream). Try not to let the syrup boil, because it gets very foamy. Remove the syrup from the heat and set it aside.
Wash the asparagus and break off the dry ends. Then arrange it in a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Roll the spears around to coat with oil and then sprinkle them with salt. Slide the pan into a preheated 450 degree F oven and roast, shaking the pan every couple minutes to make sure the spears cook evenly. I like my asparagus fork tender, but with a little bite to it (about 8 to 10 minutes), if you like your asparagus softer, let it roast for about 15 minutes.
Pull the asparagus from the oven and pile it onto a platter. Drizzle it with your very best olive oil and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of warm pomegranate syrup. Store the remainder of the syrup in a clean glass jar in the fridge—it makes a great addition to salad dressings.