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​Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus with Blue Cheese Broccoli Puree

Appetizer, Side Dish, Recipes

Stanley Watson’s bacon-wrapped asparagus with blue cheese broccoli puree turns the typically springtime vegetable into an earthy winter side.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus with Blue Cheese Broccoli Puree | Makes 2 servings
Recipe courtesy of J. Marie’s Wood-Fired Kitchen & Drinks

12–14 asparagus stalks 
2–4 pieces raw bacon
3 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
3 tablespoons blue cheese
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon cooking oil
Salt and pepper

Wrap 6 to 7 asparagus stalks in 1 to 2 pieces of bacon each and secure with toothpicks. Season with salt and pepper. Bake wrapped asparagus on a foil-lined tray in a 400 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, rotating as needed until the bacon is crisp and the asparagus is tender. 

Bring 4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil (for a richer puree, replace 2 cups of water with heavy cream and add a tablespoon of butter). Add 3 cups of broccoli and allow to simmer for 7 minutes or until tender. Drain broccoli, reserve simmering liquid, and place broccoli in a blender. Puree for 2 minutes, incorporating simmering liquid into the broccoli until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of blue cheese and puree for 30 seconds until cheese is incorporated. Season to taste.

Divide almonds evenly and coat 1 tablespoon with 1 teaspoon of cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning. Coat the other 1 tablespoon of almonds with honey and mix.

Remove toothpicks from the bacon and drizzle blue cheese puree over the asparagus stalks. Garnish with dried cranberries, Cajun almonds, honey almonds and blue cheese crumbles.