Asparagus is not a very finicky vegetable – I think it tastes good almost any way it’s prepared, but here is a preparation that really showcases its flavor and texture at its best. I wanted to share with you my favorite way to enjoy this versatile veggie.
After years of eating boiled or steamed asparagus, I finally was inspired to try oven-roasting it, and have never looked back! I find I get the most consistent results in my toaster oven, but the oven works just fine for this purpose too. This is another one of those recipes that’s all about simplicity: just a few select seasonings and let the veggie be the star. The high heat brings out its subtle sweetness, while the garlic-infused olive oil, salt and pepper round out the savory vegetal flavor. Serves 3-4 as a side dish, but it’s so good you might just devour it all by yourself…
- 1 bunch (around 1 lb) of fresh green asparagus (make sure the buds are nice and tight and intact, not getting mushy)
- 1 Tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (I used Trader Joe’s), though regular extra virgin olive oil gives you good results too
- 1/2 tsp fresh, coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tsp coarse grained sea salt (I recommend a fleur de sel)
If using a regular oven, preheat to 450F. Wash your asparagus stems and then trim off their fibrous bases (I find that if you bend them near the bottom, they snap off easily right where the fibrous part ends).
Line a small baking tray with foil and then add the asparagus, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.
Place in your toaster oven at 400F (or into your regular oven at 450). Roast for about 10-15 min. You will hear it sizzling as it cooks. It is done when the stalks are a bright, intense green but their color has not dulled, and the edges of the buds are starting to brown and crisp. Enjoy!
* While this is how we regularly enjoy our asparagus, sometimes you want to do something more elaborate…so stay tuned for my next post, which will incorporate this roasted asparagus into a very yummy dish!