Skip to content

Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Roasted Asparagus

When I first arrived in Tuscany, my friend Annagloria, showed me around her town, Tavarnelle, and then offered to take me to the village to purchase groceries and supplies. I met the butcher. There are two in town, but “this one is the best,” said Annagloria. I purchased sausage and prosciutto. We walked next door to the “vegetable and fruit store,” and met the two ladies who work in there. “You can get fruit in the supermarket, but it’s better here,” Annagloria said. I walked over to inspect their squash blossoms and she said, “Don’t touch. They will handle it for you.” I didn’t know if this was because they are so “into” customer service that they want to bag my fruits and vegetables personally, or because they don’t want anyone handling the fruit. Over the course of the next few days I learned that the greengrocers are the only ones who handle the fruits and vegetables in Italy. I like that.

Ingredients

1 lb. Asparagus, fresh

2 Tbl Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Recent Recipes

Cinnamon Cream Syrup

This pairs perfectly with Sweet Potato Pancakes. It may be better than the pancakes themselves (and they’re great). But try this recipe on regular pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Read more

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I ate my first sweet potato pancake during my only visit to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My family, along with another couple and their young children rented a cabin in the mountains during spring break. I woke every morning and headed into town for breakfast. I would imagine Gatlinburg has more pancake houses per capita than any place on the planet. My problem is that I never found a good-tasting pancake until I happened across sweet potato pancakes at one of the pancake houses. We serve a version of this recipe at The Midtowner. The Cinnamon Cream Syrup is a must.

Read more

RSJ’s Smoked Yellowfin Tuna Dip

The smoked tuna dip at Harbor docks is, by far, the best in the area. Actually, it’s the best I have ever tasted. Over the years I have taken a few stabs at recreating a Harbor Dock’s version, but always come up short. After several failed attempts, and facing a cookbook deadline, I finally worked up a recipe for smoked crab dip, which is excellent, though my wife still prefers Harbor Docks smoked tuna dip.

Read more