Roasted Asparagus Casserole

1 to 1.5 pounds asparagus (about a bunch), bottoms trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces

12 canned or frozen/defrosted artichoke hearts, quartered

1 medium red bell pepper, julienned

3 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons lemon zest

a buncha lemon juice

3 T olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

1 1/2 c basmati rice

2 1/4 c water

2 c tomatoes, in bite size pieces (or halved cherry tomatoes)

8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, or thereabouts

some oregano

a lot more basil than that

Preheat oven to 425 and lightly oil a shallow roasting pan (I used a cookie sheet with a rim)

In a large (I mean it, large) bowl, combine asparagus, artichokes, and red pepper. Add garlic (press in), lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange veggies in a single layer in pan -- do not wash mixing bowl yet.

Roast asparagus mixture 20-25 minutes or until veggies are lightly browned and tender. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350.

Meanwhile, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or so (until the water is absorbed).

Combine the rice, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, half the cheese, and the remaining spices. Mix well. Taste it and make sure you've got the right amounts of stuff in it.

Dump it all in a casserole dish or a 9x13 baking pan. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top and bake 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.