Food in Film: American Beauty Asparagus



UPDATE: See the Food in Film roundup here.

 “Will someone please pass me the fucking asparagus?”

When I read that Susan over at the Well-Seasoned Cook was hosting a “Food in Film” blogging event , I didn’t even think of basing my entry on what are probably obvious films, like the ones with food in their title (Chocolat) or the ones with food as a central theme (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, American Pie). My mind, for whatever reason, immediately went to the dinner scene in American Beauty where Kevin Spacey’s character, Lester Burnham, throws a plate of asparagus onto the wall.

American Beauty is one of my favorite movies. In fact, I have actually written graduate level papers on this film. Don’t worry–I had a media concentration, I wasn’t writing economics essays on this film or anything. I think the second dinner scene is one of the best scenes from American Beauty for many reasons. I won’t bore you with all of them, but I will say it is a turning point in the film where Lester really makes it clear that he is now living his life for himself, and not for anyone else. And, it’s got some great humor (“I didn’t LOSE [my job]. It’s not like, ‘Whoops, where’d it go?'”) Bottom line, it’s a great scene. So, for my entry in the event, I decided to go with a roasted asparagus with lemon vinaigrette.  

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
lemons, for serving

1/2 shallot, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Make vinaigrette by combining all ingredients. Set aside so flavors can meld. If you do not link pieces of shallot or garlic, you can either strain the vinaigrette after flavors have combined, or puree the whole mixture in a food processor.

Toss asparagus with some olive oil to just coat all pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or to desired doneness.

Spoon vinaigrette over roasted asparagus and garnish with lemon wedges.

Food in Film: American Beauty Asparagus

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