Roasted Asparagus Recipe for Spring
Spring is prime asparagus season. Now’s a great time to take advantage of the season’s first harvest of this delicious green vegetable. Steamed asparagus makes a superb side dish, maybe drizzled with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice. But have you tried it roasted yet? Roasting transforms this familiar vegetable into a culinary experience.
Here’s a basic roasting recipe, followed by some suggestions for dressing things up a little.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Rinse and pat dry one pound of fresh green organic asparagus spears (or try the more delicately-flavored white variety, if you’re adventurous). Snap off tough root ends and discard. Place spears in a bowl and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread spears out so they can “breathe”. Roast at 425ºF for 9 minutes. Shake baking sheet halfway through cooking, to turn spears, then return to oven.
Voila! You’re done. They’re ready for a sprinkling of sea salt and fresh-ground pepper. Experiment with other last-minute additions, like a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, or a splash of fresh lemon juice with lemon zest. Frankly, roasted asparagus with a little olive oil is delightful all by itself, but feel free to use your imagination. Soy sauce, garlic, roasted shallots, roasted red peppers—they all made nice additions. But in the end, this marvelous spring vegetable can stand on its own.