ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH FENNEL, MUSHROOMS AND RED BELL PEPPER (for six)
1-1/2 pounds fresh jumbo asparagus, either green or white or a combination of the two
1 large Porto Bello mushroom cap, cut into ½ inch slices
1 fennel bulb, top and bruised or discolored outer leaves discarded, bulb cut into ½ inch thick slices
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch thick sticks
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt to taste
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 450*.
- Wash the asparagus under cold running water, break off about one inch from the bottom of each spear, pat dry with paper towels and place, along with the fennel, mushrooms and bell peppers, in a single layer on a jelly roll pan or baking sheet.
- Brush vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Roast the vegetables, shaking the pan every 2 minutes or so, until they are just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. The timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus, but 8 to 10 minutes is usual.
- Transfer vegetables to a platter with tongs and serve.
NOTE: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. If desired, rewarm in a 450* oven 5 minutes, or serve at room temperature