I love. Love. Asparagus. Really. I do. But I’m not a fan of steamed asparagus, because god forbid you steam it too long, and then it’s all mushy and kind of gross and the whole house smells like asparagus for days.
Roasting, however, I am a fan of. It caramelizes the outside ever so slightly, which adds a nuttiness and sweetness to the asparagus which balances so perfectly with the slight bitterness of the stalks. It’s not soggy. It doesn’t make your house smell like asparagus. How can you go wrong?
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed.
– Preheat your oven to 425.
– Trim the ends of your asparagus. What I usually do is grab a stalk and bend it until it snaps. Throw away the bottom. Keep the top.
– Throw all that lovely asparagus onto a baking sheet. Drizzle generously with oil. (If you’re super paranoid, you can hit the baking sheet with cooking spray first. It’s not really necessary though.)
– Toss asparagus in oil until everything is nice and coated. Spread into a single layer.
– Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I often also hit it with bacon salt or my favorite dry rub mix.
– Whack it in the oven. This is where things get a little imprecise, because I have never set a timer on my asparagus. Cook it until it’s slightly browned/blackened just at the tips, and it is tender all the way through. This will usually be between 10 and 15 minutes, but seriously? Just be vigilant about checking on it. It will take longer if you’ve got big honking fat asparagus, and less time if you’ve got the really slender baby asparagus.
– When you’ve reached your desired level of done-ness, plate up and enjoy!
I also use this technique for roasting zucchini and summer squash that I’ve sliced up, and for haricots verts, which are delightful french beans. Try it! =)