Crispy Fried Parmesan Asparagus or Italian Asparagus is a great vegetable side or appetizer with a crispy, crunchy, golden brown parmesan crusted coating!
Many history buffs know that one of the great and tenacious leaders of the 20th Century was Charles de Gaulle who became President of France in 1959.
My knowledge of history is quite limited, but, one thing I do know is that he was nicknamed,”The Great Asparagus”. President de Gaulle acquired that name because of his height (six feet, five inches), high forehead and nose!
I don’t know if he liked asparagus but, if you are a follower of my blog, it will come as no surprise how much I adore it! I love it so much that, if I can’t pick it fresh from my garden, I will buy it when it’s not in season.
So, when Ken brought home two beautiful bunches of asparagus from the grocery store, I was delighted to say the least!
But what to make? So many good recipes, so little time!
It didn’t take long to decide that crispy fried parmesan asparagus would be the perfect dish to make.
This Italian-style Parmesan Asparagus makes a great snack and is a wonderful addition to almost any meal.
Serve it as an appetizer (suggest a little ranch dressing on the side) and you’re guests will be blown away.
Asparagus can sometimes taste boring and bitter. Knowing the amazing health benefits of asparagus is one thing.
How best to cook it is another.
If boiling it, you run the risk of losing some nutrients and it’s a well-known fact that water is the villain of nutrient conservation.
Crispy fried asparagus not only preserves valuable nutrients, it tastes great!
Chill the asparagus for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. This will ensure the outside of the asparagus is well-coated with what you’re frying it with.
It is my belief that skipping this step is a big mistake.
Fry or saute the asparagus in butter and oil.
Most oils have a higher smoke point which means it can tolerate higher cooking temperatures and will prevent the butter from burning.
So butter gives fried asparagus flavor and the oil keeps it from burning. I can’t think of a better marriage than that! It’s the proverbial, “match made in Heaven”.
Fry each piece until a golden-brown color. This crispy fried parmesan asparagus is just delightful!
Crispy parmesan asparagus is such great side dish to your meal, you’re family will be begging for more.
Serve fried, parmesan crusted asparagus as an appetizer and your guests won’t leave until it’s gone.
Crispy Parmesan Asparagus
My friend, Alex called me the other day and shared some sad news that, after 15 years of marriage, she was separating from her husband.
I was shocked and asked her how she was going to manage raising 4 boys (under the age of 11) on her own. Fortunately, she’s a nurse and her soon-to-be ex is an Accountant, so financially things would be fine.
Both agreed to share custody and her husband was looking to purchase a house in the same neighborhood. I told Alex that she was a strong woman, had great kids and that things would work out in the end.
I wished her well and offered to emotionally support her in any way I could.
It didn’t take long to get on the topic of food as both of us love to cook. I told her I was making Crispy Parmesan Asparagus.
She told me the last time she made asparagus, she discovered a few days later, some dried up spears sitting in the shoe box of her 4-year old’s bedroom.
When she questioned him, he looked at her with those puppy dog eyes and said he couldn’t eat them because they reminded him of dinosaur legs.
He said if he made a wish, they would magically become a baby dinosaur!
I thought that was so sweet and suggested she make this Crispy Parmesan Asparagus recipe next time and tell him they’re asparagus fries. Alex said she would give it a try and let me know.
Many people believe this Crispy Parmesan Asparagus recipe has to be fried in order for it to be crisp. I’ve baked these parmesan crusted asparagus spears on many occasions and they have turned out wonderfully crispy every time.
- Place your oven rack in the middle, or one level below.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Cover a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and coat the wire rack with cooking spray.
- Arrange asparagus in a row, leaving a bit of space between each piece.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes or until asparagus is crispy and golden.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
Parmesan Crusted Asparagus
Frying almost guarantees crispness without fail. But, baking this Parmesan Crusted Asparagus will produce a similar result.
Baking takes a little more time and effort, but it’s so worth it!
Unlike, frying, it’s not necessary to refrigerate your asparagus for 30 minutes prior to baking.
However, if you want to refrigerate it first, slightly increase the baking time by a few minutes.
Either way, this parmesan crusted asparagus will not disappoint.
I would LOVE to hear what you think.
Ingredients in Parmesan Asparagus
- Parmesan cheese
- white wine
Below are some of the best oils for frying this parmesan crusted asparagus dish:
- Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with. It has a relatively low smoke point which means it can burn and smoke quicker when using high heat. Use it on low to medium heat when frying.
- Vegetable oil is a blend of corn, soybean, palm, canola safflower and sunflower oils and is perfectly fine for frying.
- Canola oil has a high smoke point and is low in saturated fat.
- Avocado oil is a wonderful choice and also has a high smoke point.
- Sunflower oil is high in Vitamin E and has a higher smoke point. It has a mild flavor which means it won’t overpower the dish.
Breadcrumbs or Panko?
Breadcrumbs are made from different varieties of breads such as white, whole wheat, sour dough, rye, etc.
The difference between regular breadcrumbs and Panko is texture.
Commonly used in Asian cooking, Panko is gaining popularity in Western cuisine.
It’s flaky, light and airy texture crisps food beautifully because it absorbs less oil and gives food the crunchiness that many of us crave.
Parsley. fresh or dried?
If using fresh, finely chop 4 tablespoons of fresh parsley instead of the 1-2 tablespoons of dried.
As a substitute for parsley, use cilantro (fresh or dried), but keep in mind they taste significantly different. Parsley has a mild flavor. Whereas, cilantro has a distinct flavor and some say it tastes “soapy”.
Others say it tastes peppery and citrus-like.
Another consideration is dried Italian seasoning which is a blend of basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme, chili flakes, garlic powder.
There’s no doubt about it; Parmesan is King.
I’ve said this before and is worth mentioning again, there are several cheeses on the market today claiming to be Parmesan.
The stuff that comes in a tubular cardboard container is not the real stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it has flavor and, if that’s your preference, by all means, use it.
Parmigiano Reggiano is the real McCoy and, although pricey, is beyond compare. Produced in certain areas of Italy, it has a profoundly rich and nutty flavor.
Dry white wine heightens the flavor of this parmesan crusted asparagus dish. Cooking wines are fine, but remember they contain salt and other additives to extend shelf life.
Using dry wines for cooking doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some suggestions:
- Chardonnay – crisp, fruity and refreshing
- Pinot Grigio – citrusy and light
- Riesling – aromatic and delicious and has a touch of sweetness
- Bordeaux – light and fruity with citrus aromas
The disadvantage of using regular instead of cooking wine is that it has to be used up quickly or it turns into vinegar. It can last 2-3 days in the fridge if you cap it, so use it in other recipes.
Some say you can freeze it in ice cube trays. One cube is approximately two tablespoons depending on the size of the tray.
Another inexpensive alternative is Vermouth which is a fortified white wine that contains spices, herbs and fruits. Stored in the fridge, dry Vermouth will last between 3-6 months.
When serving parmesan crusted asparagus as an appetizer, ranch dressing is one of my favorite dipping sauces. Our Best Dips Ever page lists our favorites including, a ranch, parmesan and honey mustard.
There are some great-tasting salad dressings that would make great dipping sauces. Here are a few:
- 1000 Island
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Sun-dried Tomato
- Three-cheese Ranch
Try making your own dipping sauce:
- ¼ cup of Greek Yogurt
- ¼ cup of mayo, 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of regular mustard, 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- Mix together and there you have it. Scrumptious!
Lemon Creamy Sauce
- 2-½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup of mayo or Greek Yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1 tablespoon of dried parsley or cilantro
- 1 green onion minced
- garlic or regular salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk in small bowl, cover in plastic and place in fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. This will allow the flavors to blend together.
How to make Crispy Fried Parmesan Asparagus
Set up a workstation with three dishes.
Two dishes will have dry ingredients and one will have wet.
- Dish 1 – flour and garlic salt
- Dish 2 – Egg and wine mixture
- Dish 3 – Breadcrumbs, Parmesan Cheese and dried parsley
Coat the asparagus spears well in each dish.
Begin by dipping the damp, washed asparagus in the flour mixture.
Next, dip each spear in the egg and wine mixture.
Last, but not least, dip in the breadcrumb mixture.
Fry: A reminder the asparagus needs to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to ensure the oil and butter stick well to the asparagus.
Saute the asparagus in butter and oil. Remember: Using oil will help prevent the butter from burning.
Once golden-brown, they are hot and ready.
Serve it with a dish of ranch dressing for dipping and there you have it. Sooooo good!
Bake: Set your oven rack in the middle or the one just below.
Preheat to 425 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and coat wire rack with cooking spray.
Arrange asparagus in a row leaving a bit of space between each one.
Bake for 10-13 minutes or until asparagus is crispy and golden.
Serve parmesan crusted asparagus immediately and enjoy!
Unique Asparagus Recipes
Crispy Fried Parmesan Asparagus
- rimmed baking sheet with a rack or a large skillet
- Prepare three work areas.
- The first plate should have the flour and garlic salt.
- The second should have bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and parsley.
- The last should have the egg and wine.
- Wash asparagus and break or cut off the tough ends. Leave the asparagus damp.
- Toss until totally coated in the flour and garlic salt.
- Next, gently coat with the egg and wine mixture.
- Last coat in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes. This helps the coating stick to the asparagus.
- Melt oil and butter in your skillet, over medium heat, when ready to prepare. Using oil will help prevent your butter from burning while the butter adds some more flavor.
- Saute the asparagus until crispy and golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy!
- Arrange your oven rack to be set at middle or one less than middle.
- Set your oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and a wire rack coated with cooking spray.
- Arrange asparagus in a row leaving a little bit of space between each piece.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes or until asparagus are crispy and golden.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.