Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

Growing up, my grandmother had a few asparagus patches scattered throughout her yard. Those suckers would grow continuously for a few weeks, so it was only natural that almost every meal she prepared for a month or so came with a side of asparagus. And I absolutely hated it. Not only did the texture seem weird to me, but the taste was so foul. My mother would also receive some of the year’s asparagus bounty, so there was no escaping it. Of course, those two never really dressed up the side - just served boiled with butter. That could be one of the reasons I thought it was so awful. My how the times have changed. These days, I buy asparagus at the store, wishing I had a patch of my own to which I could tend. I’ve found oodles of recipes on the Internet that add flavor to the veggie and I’ve given a few of them a try. This one, which I altered very slightly, is my favorite. The bacon and sweetness are the perfect compliment to the asparagus.

12 strips of bacon
1-1/2 to 2 lb. asparagus
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt 

Preheat oven to 400°. Trim bottoms of asparagus and separate into bundles of 5 to 6 pieces. Wrap one piece of bacon around each bundle. Arrange bundles in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Meanwhile, in a small non-stick saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Pour the sauce over the asparagus bundles. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes until bacon is cooked and asparagus has begun to wilt. Serve alongside your favorite main dish.


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