Ode to Tyler: Steamed Asparagus in a Paper Bag and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Fresh Herbs and Garlic


Our little sister turned us on to the paper bag steaming technique which Tyler Florence utilizes. She kept saying, “It is so good.” I think she likes Tyler because he is easy on the eyes, but clearly his cooking techniques are quite likeable too.

We also wanted to make baby potato eggs for Easter and used Tyler’s recipe for roasted fingerling potatoes. We made two batches, more rounded egg-shaped ones and then mixed color potatoes including several with bluish purple hues.

Both techniques were unreal and yielded fantastic results. Both the asparagus received compliments for the concentrated lemon flavor and texture and the potatoes had a nice herb flavored skin with the perfect balance of salt .

Adapted from Tyler Florence

  • 1 pound medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon, sliced paper thin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Get yourself a lunch brown paper bag or grocery store paper bag (but without the logos or paint) to hold the asparagus. Place the asparagus in the bag and drizzle the outside of the bag with olive oil to keep the bag from burning. Sprinkle the asparagus with the salt and cracked pepper and toss in the lemon slices and bay leaf. Close the bag, folding it over several times and creasing the folds well to hold the steam in. Put the pan on a baking sheet, drizzle it with more olive oil, stick it in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and set it on top of the stove. Set a serving plate next to the stove. Using a kitchen towel or a pair of kitchen tongs, raise the bag over the plate, open the bag, and slide the asparagus out onto the plate.

Adapted from Tyler Florence

  • 2 pints fingerling potatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, (1 tablespoon reserved for sheet pan)
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and place a baking sheet inside to heat.

Add potatoes, rosemary and thyme, and garlic to a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove sheet pan from oven, lightly coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and pour potatoes onto pan. Place potatoes in oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees F. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crispy on outside and tender on inside.

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