Balsamic Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Pancetta, Pine Nuts, + Blue Cheese

     While this recipe may be for asparagus, I'm basically giving you the blueprint to the easiest and most delicious way to cook any vegetables.  A little olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper, and toss it all in a bowl to coat before spreading it out on a baking sheet to roast.  It's my foolproof way for making any vegetable so much more flavorful with the perfect crisp texture!  Asparagus just happens to be one of my favorite vegetables to prepare this way because it pairs so well with lots of fun toppings!  This recipe is covered with crispy pancetta, toasted pine nuts, and creamy blue cheese crumbles- YUM!  I love the combination of the sharp blue cheese with the earthy asparagus, and the crunchy texture that both the pancetta and pine nuts add.  I've also made this same recipe topped with bacon crumbles and feta or parmesan cheese, and it is equally as good.  It is one of our favorite side dishes to have when grilling burgers, chicken, or steak in the summer and is so quick and easy to make.  Grab all the step-by-step instructions + ingredients below!



1 bunch of asparagus

1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon each salt + pepper

2 oz diced Pancetta

1/3 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil or parchment paper.

2.  In a mixing bowl add 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, the garlic, salt and pepper to the asparagus; toss to coat thoroughly.

3. Spread the mixture onto your covered baking sheet, drizzling any extra oil/spices over the asparagus.

4.  Roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until slightly charred at the tips.

5.  While that's roasting, pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan and warm on medium heat.

6.  Add the pancetta and pine nuts, stirring constantly until the pancetta is crisp and the pine nuts are toasted.

7.  Remove the asparagus from the oven and top immediately with the cooked pancetta, pine nuts, and a sprinkling of the blue cheese; serve + enjoy!