I Love Oven Roasted Asparagus


Another Javabird.com recipe.


I’m Not Gonna!


When I was a kid, I turned up my nose at just about anything green. Now, since I grew up in a farming community, you might think I would have enjoyed the occasional green vegetable.  After all, when the summer season came around we had some the best produce to be found.  Yet my stubborn refusal to stick to my guns pretty much assured that the only green thing I’d pop in my mouth was one Mom forced on me.  Thankfully, with some serious prodding I got over my earlier pig-headedness and discovered there is joy to be had in those greens.  Such is the case with asparagus, and now I love it, especially fresh from the oven.


Preheat the oven first.  This won't take long.

When you can, get the asparagus with thinner stalks.

Simple and Quick


I love all kinds of roasted vegetables and it turns out asparagus is one of the easier ones to prepare this way. What do we need?  How about a hot oven, a flat baking dish, some asparagus, cooking oil and a little salt?  Simple, right?


Thick and Thin


If you look at a lot of asparagus at the store, you might have noticed that the stalks can get quite thick and beefy.  I always keep my eye out for the crops that are harvested when the asparagus is younger—that means I seek out the thinner stalks.  If you don’t see a difference in taste, consider that the lower half of most stalks turns out to be too woody to eat—I end up tossing mine in the recycle bin.  Now, since I pay for asparagus by the pound, I just think it makes sense to minimize the amount I need to recycle.


Ready, Set, Go!


Once you’ve got some asparagus and are ready to cook it, start by pre-heating the oven at around 400-425 degrees F.  Next, take a large flat pan and pour a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of it.  I have a 9 x 13 glass dish I prefer for this, but any will do.


Snap To It

The prep work goes quickly.

Grab both ends and bend. The asparagus will let you know where it wants to break.

Rinse and dry the asparagus and then break off the bottom ends.  If you bend an asparagus stalk from each end it will tell you where it wants to break.  Go with it.


Place the asparagus heads in the pan and recycle the rest into your compost.  Once all the asparagus is in the pan, salt it and then roll it around in the oil.  Then as soon as the oven is warm, place the pan on a center rack and set the timer for 10 minutes.


When the timer goes off, take a wood or plastic spoon and stir.  If the asparagus is sticking add a little more oil.  Now, put the asparagus back in the oven for another 10 minutes.


When the timer goes off, again, you want to check to see if it’s done.  I consider it done when it turns a darker shade of green and develops a slightly wrinkled texture.  Of course, you can always taste it to see if it’s cooked through.  If not, stir and throw the pan back in the oven for a few more minutes and then check again.  Note: The thickness of the asparagus will make a difference in cooking time.


You’ve Got To Try This


Asparagus cooked this way is an excellent accompaniment for any meal, but it also makes a terrific appetizer.  And did I mention it’s good for you?  Asparagus  is rich in folate, glutathione, potassium and a number of important vitamins.  Oh, and if you’ve got a stubborn little (or big) one who won’t touch a green vegetable, oven roasting may just change their mind.





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