Some things signal the return of spring better than a calendar: birds chirping, flower buds beginning to bloom, and a small sea of green-speared asparagus. One of the best methods of cooking the seasonal veg is roasting it. All it requires is a hot oven, a little bit of oil, salt, and a few minutes. Once it’s done, the subdued green hue turns Technicolor, and the once-firm flesh softens to fork tender without going flabby.
We like them drizzled with balsamic vinegar before going into the oven. Or, finely grate lemon zest on top when the spears come out. Parmesan and toasted almond slices are fabulous scattered on them. Feeling fancy? Drizzle the asparagus with hollandaise or eat them as a salad, chilled with chopped, hard-boiled eggs on top. Garnish bowls of three cheese amaranth porridge with a fried egg for an easy plant-based meal. The opportunities are endless even if the season is not.
If you can find pencil thin spears, they cook even faster than thicker ones. Also, we snap off the ends of the asparagus, because they tend to be woody and a bit fibrous. That said, you can certainly still eat the asparagus ends — just roast or steam them until soft and then use as an ingredient in asparagus soup.
(Serves 4 to 6)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Snap the asparagus stems by asserting a little tension on the middle and end of the asparagus spear.
3. Place the asparagus in a half-sheet tray. Drizzle oil on top and toss them until coated.
4. Spread asparagus in single file. Scatter the salt and pepper on top. Roast for 7-9 minutes, or until fork tender.
Find more delicious ideas to get your greens on Pinterest.
(Recipe and photos by Annelies Zijderveld / Brit + Co)