BROILED ASPARAGUS WITH PARMESAN BREAD CRUMBS

NOTE: Pecorino, Cotija, or any other hard grating cheese can be substituted for the Parmigiano.

SERVES 4 TO 6
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed and torn into rough chunks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about ½ cup)
1 pound asparagus, tough bottoms trimmed, stalks peeled if desired
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1.  Preheat the broiler to high. Add the bread, 1 tablespoon of the butter, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper to a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed.
2.  Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the Parmesan, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary and set aside.
3.  Arrange the asparagus in a single layer in a foil-lined broiler pan or rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and shake to coat evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 2 inches from the heating element until tender and well charred, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and serve with the lemon wedges.

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