Teaching myself to cook, one recipe at a time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

I’ve always really liked asparagus, even as a kid. My parents have a garden of asparagus in the backyard, and during those long summer days as a kid, mom used to send us outside with a paring knife to slice off a handful of asparagus stalks for dinner. I thought asparagus was so much better than all the other vegetables we grew. They weren’t gushy like tomatoes, or seedy like cucumbers, and they didn’t have a sharp flavor like peppers or a bizarre color like the eggplants. Somehow they weren’t as threatening to a kid who hated her vegetables, and I ate my fill.


As an adult who loves her vegetables, my love for asparagus has dwindled as I’ve realized that store-bought asparagus is not the same as cutting it out of the garden and eating it within 2 hours. I’ve experimented with a bunch of different ways to prepare it, but I’m never quite satisfied with whatever seasonings I’ve tried with it.

Until now.

I have found the perfect asparagus recipe and only regret the fact that it’s November and I have wasted a whole summer of opportunities to get asparagus from the farmer’s market. Seriously, that good. Also very simple. You can have it ready in 15 minutes.

First, wash and trim a bunch of thin asparagus. Plop them in a bowl.


Dribble on 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, and a clove of garlic. The recipe said to add a teaspoon of salt, but all the reviews said to cut it by half at least, so I did. Also, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Shake it all up, stir it, do what you gotta do. I put my hands in the bowl and kneaded it all around, figuring that was a lot easier than trying to use a wooden spoon or something.

I put a sheet of tin foil on a cookie sheet and greased it, then spread out all the asparagus on it in a single layer.


Just for the hell of it, I sprinkled on some sliced almonds. Figured it’d be a nice touch.


And popped it in a 425 degree oven. I reduced the cooking time based on reviews, and took it out at 9 minutes. It was perfect, crisp and tender at the same time.


And for the finishing touch: sprinkle on a tablespoon of lemon juice and stir it up. I started snacking at this point and couldn’t stop.


I ate far too much of this on my own. Hubby had a normal amount. And then I had the rest for lunch. Seriously, so good.

Have I mentioned that this was fantastic yet?


This is the original recipe. As I’ve mentioned, my changes were just to halve the salt, reduce the cooking time, and add almonds. I still thought my version was extremely salty, so be careful. Also, the recipe says that the cheese, garlic, and lemon juice are all optional. It lies. Don’t leave them out.

Highly, highly recommend this.

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