How To Make Super-Crispy, Oven-Baked Asparagus Fries
- 3 tablespoons
olive oil, divided
- 1 cup
Flour for breading
- 1 1/2 cups
- 1 pound
asparagus (about 20 to 24 medium spears)
- 1 cup
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick olive oil spray
Rimmed baking sheet
Large resealable plastic bag
Small saucepan, optional
3 shallow bowls
Sharp knife, optional
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, brush about 1 tablespoon of the oil on the paper. Set aside.
Make the breadcrumb mixture: Pour the breadcrumbs and panko into a large resealable plastic bag, gently press any excess air out, and seal securely. Squish and smush the breadcrumbs with your hands, kneading the bag gently so it does not break (or use the bottom of a small saucepan and press the bag gently, until the panko pieces are as small as the breadcrumbs). Set aside.
Set up the breading station: Line up 3 rimmed dishes or containers that are as long as the asparagus spears (7x11-inch or 9x13-inch will work well). Pour the flour into the first. Add the eggs to the second dish and beat lightly with a fork. While beating, drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Combine the panko-breadcrumb mixture, Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper in the remaining dish.
Prep the asparagus: Rinse the asparagus and remove any tough, thick, or white ends by snapping them off or cutting them off with a sharp knife, being careful not to accidentally break the tender tips.
Bread the asparagus: Place 3 to 4 spears at a time into the flour and turn to coat on all sides. Lift a spear out of the flour and, holding it over the dish, and gently pat off any excess. Next, place the spear into the egg mixture and turn to thoroughly coat. Immediately place the eggy spear into the breadcrumb mixture and turn to coat completely on all sides, again patting it gently so the bread crumbs will stick and the tips are not broken. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining asparagus spears, lining them up in a row, close together, but not quite touching.
Spray the asparagus: Spray the breaded asparagus spears with nonstick olive oil spray.
Bake the asparagus: Bake asparagus in the oven until crisp and crunchy, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven halfway through the cooking time and turn each asparagus spear over to ensure that it is evenly baked, nicely browned, and crunchy.
Cheese or nutritional yeast: The breading in this recipe contains grated Parmesan cheese, which gives it a nutty, cheesy underpinning. Lactose issues? Don't eat cheese? You can substitute nutritional yeast for the cheese with no problem at all.