Roasted Cremini Mushrooms and Asparagus

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch (approx. 1 lb.) asparagus, as thick as you can get
1/2 – 3/4 lb. cremini button mushrooms (about 1½ cups)
1/2 cup red wine
3-4 tablespoons olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme and marjoram
Salt and fresh pepper to taste

METHOD:

Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet pan with foil.

Cut off the bottom 1/2 inch of the asparagus. Use a swivel blade peeler and lightly peel the bottom 2 to 3 inches.

Cut the asparagus on an angle, and continue cutting, rotating the asparagus a quarter turn before each cut (this makes for interesting visuals and texture) until all are cut. Each chunk of asparagus should be roughly 1½ inches long.

If the mushrooms are 1 inch or smaller, just clean them. If they are larger, clean them and cut them in half. Put them into a non-reactive bowl and pour the wine over them, and toss to coat evenly with the wine. Allow the mushrooms to sit five minutes or so. This should be long enough for them to absorb all the wine.

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the asparagus and toss to coat well.
Add the mushrooms, letting any excess wine drain off first, to the bowl with the asparagus. Add another tablespoon of oil to the mushrooms, and toss them all together. Check to see if the mushrooms are coated with oil; if not, add the remaining oil.

Sprinkle the herbs and salt and pepper over all, and toss to distribute evenly.
Transfer the lot to the foil coated sheet pan, then bake in the center of the oven for roughly 15 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during this time to turn things and check for sticking.

The dish is done when the asparagus and mushrooms are tender.

If there is a lot of liquid when the vegetables are done, you can reduce this liquid or add a little butter to it for an impromptu sauce.

Serve this as a side dish, or toss it with cooked grains like spelt or kamut.  Use as a quiche or omelette filling, or add into pasta.

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