Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Roasted Asparagus

This "recipe" couldn't be any easier even if I tried. I started roasting/broiling my asparagus many moons ago and now I won't do it any other way. It's absolutely perfect. The tops get a little crunchy, it all tastes a little nutty and the asparagus is tender but not mushy. It retains all of its vitamins (versus boiling - ugh! Who would do such a thing?) and my kids love it. - They love it better than french fries I might add. (I should note that my kids have been eating this since they had enough teeth to chew, and they were only introduced to french fries, against my behest,  a few years later. But still, they would choose asparagus over french fries and that's a win in any mom's book.)
  The asparagus is lightly flavored with a little garlic, oil, salt and pepper and that's it. Pure veggie deliciousness.

Here's how it starts:
Clean and take the ends off of the asparagus. (We always make at least two pounds because I'm lucky if the family -myself included- doesn't eat it all on it's short journey from the oven to the table. But you can make as little or as much as you want.)

To trim the ends I usually hold an asparagus spear, one hand on each end, and bend it. Where it breaks (usually 1 to 2 inches from the end) is where I cut all the rest. But DON'T throw out the ends! They have wonderful flavor and are great pureed into soup. I just put mine into a labeled freezer zip-top bag and save them for when I want to make soup. Hey, you paid for it, right? Why throw it out?

Line the asparagus up neatly in a single layer on a cookie/baking sheet. Drizzle over a little olive oil. (I always use extra virgin, but any olive oil would work.)

Use one hand to move the asparagus around, to evenly coat all spears in oil. (Keep one hand clean for sprinkling on the flavorings later.)

Now sprinkle on a little granulated garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Not too much. Perhaps a tsp of each. (I just sprinkle until it looks like everything has been "kissed" by the garlic, salt and pepper.)

Then use your oiled hand to stir everything around again.

Line everything up in a single layer again, and turn the broiler on hi.

You'll need to keep any eye on them, but they should be done in about 6 minutes. (5-10 depending on your oven.) The tops of the asparagus will start to char a little, but you don't want them to burn. The skin will get a little wrinkled and the stalks will be a brighter green than they were when you put them in. Let them get a little brown, but when they look done to you, take them out! If they burn they will be bitter. These look beautiful (but two seconds more and it would have been too much).

Serve immediately with anything you like. Tonight I served it with my Lemon Salmon.

And my perfect meal? Lemon Salmon, Sweet Pina-Colada Rice, and this Roasted Asparagus. Ahhh. Isn't is beautiful? And it can all be made in under 20 minutes. Yum, Yum!

But the easiest thing on the plate has to be this asparagus. Now, excuse me while I go eat. :)
Here's the recipe:

Roasted Asparagus

2 lbs asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
2 tsp granulated garlic (to taste) 
1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil 
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Turn the oven to broil. (Hi if you have it.) Arrange the asparagus spears in a single layer on a cookie/baking sheet. Drizzle over the oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic, salt and pepper and toss again to get everything coated. Arrange once more in a single layer and broil for 5 - 10 minutes. Really watch them, so they don't burn! They should be toasted and tender, but not soggy. The skins will blister and get a little crunchy. Serve immediately.

Shared with ABC's The Chew: My Bites

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