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Roasted Asparagus

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Roasted Asparagus

Photo © Molly Watson
Roasting asparagus may be the absolute easiest way to cook it. Just turn on the oven, put the asparagus in a pan, and 15 minutes later you have tender, grassy asparagus ready to eat. You can roast as much as asparagus as you can fit in a single layer in a pan or baking sheet, so it's perfect to make for a crowd (especially since it's just as delicious at room temperature).

Note: That "single layer" part is important; if you pile them up the ones underneath will steam more than roast.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus (or more, as you like)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Lemon zest or juice (optional but delicious)

Preparation:

  1. Heat an oven to 400°F. While the oven heats, trim the asparagus. You can either break off the tough ends where they naturally snap by grabbing both ends of an asparagus spear and bending it until it breaks, or, for a more elegant presentation, you can trim off any dried part at the end of each spear and peel the spears. Lay the asparagus spears in a single layer in a baking dish or on a baking sheet. I like to use a copper gratin dish so I can bring the roasted asparagus directly to the table and serve it in the dish, but any oven-proof vessel works.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake the asparagus until it's tender and starting to brown at the tips, about 15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the roasted asparagus with freshly grated lemon zest or squirt it with fresh lemon juice, if you like. If you have a meyer lemon, its floral aroma pairs particularly well with asparagus.

Serve Roasted Asparagus warm or at room temperature.

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