Roasted Asparagus

30 Apr

Roasted AsparagusIt’s asparagus season, so make the best of it! Fresh asparagus is fine steamed (for about 5 minutes, till it’s bright green and tender but not mushy) — but it’s even better roasted!

Look for medium-thick stalks that are firm and unwrinkled. Avoid any bunches that have moist tips.

The easiest way to prepare asparagus for cooking is to simply snap off the hard part at the bottom by bending it with your hands — it will snap in the right place.

I sometimes vary this recipe by sprinkling the asparagus with a mixture of spices instead of the garlic and lemon peel. I have a great one that I got in New Orleans called Joe’s Hot Stuff (with a husband named Joe, how could I resist?). It includes garlic, paprika, red pepper and thyme. Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute” is also good.

If you have very thin stalks of asparagus, they will take less time to cook. Remember, overcooking asparagus is worse than undercooking!

If you have any asparagus left over after your dinner, cut it up to use in an omelette or salad.

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh asparagus
2 tsp. olive oil
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (if you’re already cooking something else in the oven at a lower temperature, you can do the asparagus at the same time, just plan to cook it a little longer).

Wash asparagus and snap off the hard bottom part. Line a large baking pan with foil and lay the asparagus on it in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder and lemon peel over the asparagus.

Roast for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning once during the cooking. You should be able to pierce the asparagus easily with a fork, but it should still be firm, not mushy. It might brown slightly; that’s OK.

Serves 4

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