Roasted Asparagus with Cherry Balsamic Glaze and Toasted Almonds

From 6 Bittersweets
Serves 3 to 5 as a side

XIAOLU'S NOTES: I like to prepare asparagus by snapping off the tough ends of about 2 to 3 stalks to see where they break naturally. Then I use a knife to slice the remaining ends off at about that length. I like to line my baking sheet with a non-stick silicone mat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil sometimes to make the clean-up easier. Sometimes I make smaller batches of this dish in my toaster oven, but keep the temperature closer to 350 degrees F since my toaster oven tends to burn things.

1 lb. asparagus
2 tsp olive oil [preferably extra virgin]
Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp tart cherry juice concentrate OR pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash asparagus, and snap/trim off the tough ends. Let water drain off for 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer asparagus to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Bake for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the balsamic vinegar and cherry juice concentrate together in a small bowl. Remove asparagus from oven, drizzle balsamic cherry mixture over the asparagus, mix to coat, then bake for 3 to 5 more minutes. 

Transfer asparagus to serving plate and sprinkle toasted almonds on top. Enjoy!