Roasted Asparagus with Fennel and Tomatillos

The tomatillo is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico, and are a staple of that country’s cuisine.

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  • 1 onion
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 3/4 pound tomatillo
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sucanat


  1. Trim and chop the onion and fennel bulb. Chop the thick ends off the asparagus. Husk and rinse the tomatillos. Mince the garlic. Chop cilantro and set aside for garnish.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, and roast for 15-20 min. depending on how thick your spears are.
  3. In a large heavy bottomed skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until it begins to soften. Add fennel, tomatillos, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the tomatillos begin to break apart.
  4. Juice the lime and add the lime juice and sucanat. Continue simmering until the vegetable mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
  5. Garnish fennel and tomatillos with cilantro and serve topped with roasted asparagus.

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