I remember the very first time I made asparagus. I plopped them into a pot of simmering, seasoned water and horribly overcooked them, creating a stringy, mushy mess. They were hardly edible. I picked off the tips and discarded the rest. A few years later I attempted preparing them again. This time, I was bound and determined to infuse flavor into these little babies.
Forget about boiling – for full flavor, these little guys need to be roasted. I popped them on a baking sheet and tossed them with a little oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them for 10-12 minutes. Viola! Perfectly tender, and a bit crisp, little spears of concentrated asparagus goodness. I now rarely prepare asparagus any other way.
Last spring, my brother in-law (with his kiddos in tow) stopped off at our house for a couple days before heading onward to Florida for spring break. Knowing I had to feed an army, I purchased two giant bunches of asparagus. As I was preparing dinner, I asked if his kids liked asparagus. He shook his head and said no. Ok, one batch of asparagus it is. We let the six kids eat first (my dining table was much smaller then). Well, the asparagus didn’t last five minutes. All the kids were eating them like candy – I couldn’t make the second batch fast enough. Unfortunately, I think I may have spoiled my nephews and niece. The next day, we went out to lunch and as their side dish, all the kids ordered the asparagus (which came sautéed with parmesan cheese). None of the kids took more than one bite because they said it wasn’t as good as mine. What could be a better compliment than that?
- 1 lb asparagus
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Clean asparagus and trim the woody ends
- Thoroughly dry asparagus and transfer to a sheet tray
- Drizzle asparagus with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, tossing to coat
- Roast asparagus for 10-12 minutes or until tender, but slightly firm, and golden