This is the dish I’m requested to make for just about any family gathering…including Thanksgiving. It works year round and you can easily substitute various ingredients (for example, bacon instead of pancetta or Gouda instead of goat cheese). It’s quick, easy to make and very versatile. This Thanksgiving, I’m going to try adding julienned sun dried tomatoes. This is also commuter friendly if you need a dish to pack and go to a relative or friends house for the holidays. And its delicious for any meal from brunch to dinner.
The only down side for me is that it’s the only dish that I’m requested to bring to my husbands family (I love to cook).
Grill 1 lb. pancetta until crisp. Drain on paper towel and chop/crumble. Set aside.
Wash and trim ends off of 2 pounds of asparagus (medium thickness). Drizzle with olive oil and add generous amounts of sea salt and pepper (I prefer sea salt with herbs, such as Sale Alle Erbe della Marlunghe which you can find at stores like Metropolitan Market). You can either roast the asparagus in a hot oven (450 degrees) or you can pan roast until they are crisp tender. The asparagus should just begin to turn color and sweat.
Arrange asparagus on a platter. (Typically, I use a round platter and point the spears outwards working my way inward with layers of the asparagus (layering some bacon and goat cheese between layers). I top the center with lemon slices which creates a visual of a flower). Sprinkle with 3 1/2 oz. fresh goat cheese and then pancetta. Drizzle with 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tsp. grated lemon peel.
Serve at room temperature.