It’s asparagus season, and my kids (and husband) are nuts for them. This makes an appearance on our table a couple of time a week. It’s as easy a cooking method as there is, and roasting any vegetable deepens its flavor. The high heat really makes the difference.
Thick or thin? You choice. The thin ones just need the bottom two inches cut off, cook faster and work nicely in sautéed or stir fried dishes. The fatter ones will conversely take longer to cook, but the thickness provides a much more satisfying bite. I do really recommend peeling the lower parts of thicker stalks, though, which results in asparagus that is very tender from stem to stern. You might find this kitchen task odious, and if so, just skip it. I happen to find it slightly zen. After trimming the bottom inch or so off the asparagus, you simply take a vegetable peeler and peel the green outer layer off from the bottom 3-ish inches of the stalk. If you don’t feel like doing this, just snap off 3 inches from the bottoms instead of one.
Don’t worry about finding a pan large enough to hold the asparagus in one layer – the stalks can overlap a bit. Just give them a little shuffle with a spatula halfway through the booking time so they all have a chance to brown a bit.
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- juice of half a lemon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Place the asparagus in a baking pan and drizzle the olive oil over. Toss gently to coat evenly. Sprinkle on the salt, and toss again.
Roast for 8-10 minutes for thin stalks, 10-14 for thick ones. Remember that they will continue to cook a bit after you remove them from the oven, so take them out while they’re still a little firmer than you would like. If you like, squeeze the lemon over all or some of the asparagus.