Monday, May 14, 2012

Roasted Asparagus

I've waxed eloquent on asparagus before, so I'll spare you a lengthy introduction to this pinnacle of springtime vegetable perfection.

The best asparagus recipes are simple, allowing the bright green flavor of the asparagus to shine through.

Which means the best asparagus recipes are easy as pie (I have to assume that saying refers to eating pie rather than making it, as making pie crust is definitely difficult).

Say you turn the oven on to preheat while you make some biscuit dough, only to have the darn thing finish before the dough is done rising.

And say it's a warm May day and you hate to waste all that heat (and raise your gas bill) for naught.

And say you have some asparagus languishing in your vegetable drawer and not much else in the way of ingredients anywhere.

I would say you should roast the asparagus.

Simple Roasted Asparagus

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take a 9x13 pan (or whatever size seems appropriate for your asparagus stash) and drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil in it.

My bottle's almost empty, so this is pretty sparse.
Wash your asparagus and snap off the tough ends. (The ends of the asparagus (not the pointy tops but the flat ends) are tough and woody and should be trimmed. You can take the bunch, lob off the last couple inches with a knife, and hope you got all the woody bits and aren't wasting too much tender tasty stuff. Or, you can grab each piece a few inches from the bottom and bend. The asparagus will naturally snap at the border of the woody part and the tender part. Voila! Perfect asparagus spears.)

Lay the asparagus in your pan with the tender tops in the middle and the thicker ends toward the edges.

Tops in the middle.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Perhaps add a few peeled, crushed garlic cloves (they will flavor the asparagus and get sweet themselves with roasting--so delicious).

Could use more garlic.

Pop the pan in your preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes. The asparagus should darken and shrivel a bit, becoming fork tender, but not burn. Although, because of the strings, you'll still probably need a knife to cut them into bite size pieces.

I wish the lighting weren't different in the pictures so you
could see the difference more clearly. I have no idea why
the light changed in the course of ten minutes, but it did.
Up close and personal.


Simple spring supper.


  1. Delicious! We do something very similar which I was actually going to have as my next food-related post. We do the exact same thing, toss some asparagus in some oil, press some garlic in and roast for a bit. But then about halfway through we open the oven up and toss some sliced black olives and cherry tomatoes into the pan for the last little bit. It's yummy too, if you have tomatoes and olives laying around with your asparagus :-)

    1. Oh, I had a couple grape tomatoes around, I should have tossed them in. What a good idea! I hate olives, though, so not going to do that. ;-)



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