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Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fourth year in a row. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated nearly 30 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.

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Parmesan Roasted Asparagus



PARMESAN ROASTED ASPARAGUS
Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

1 pound fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (for the sauce)
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese for garnish
1 lemon (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh chopped tomatoes if desired

Prepare balsamic vinegar reduction by adding 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small pot. Heat on high until the mixture boils, then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes. The reduction should yield 1/2 cup of vinegar. Store in an air tight container.

Prepare asparagus by cutting off about 1 inch of the bottom end of the asparagus, lay asparagus on a sheet pan drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast on medium heat on an grill for about 10 minutes turning the asparagus over. Cooking time with vary with the thickness of the asparagus. Remove asparagus from grill when done. If desired squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the asparagus. I do not think the Olive Garden does this, but I think it really helps to bring out the flavor of the asparagus.

Prepare Parmesan sauce by adding heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese in a small pot or skillet. Simmer on low for about 10 - 12 minutes. The cream should reduce by 20% in volume.

To prepare plate some of the cooked asparagus on a plate, drizzle balsamic vinegar on top. Garnish with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and then serve with the sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes if desired.

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