We’re in that magical time of year when fresh asparagus is in season, and it’s not too hot to use your oven. Today’s recipe takes full advantage of this.
Most of the recipes I’ve posted in the Meatless Monday column have been one-dish meals, or at least recipes that need little else to complement them. Today’s recipe is, instead, the epitome of simplicity. It is a simple side dish with only a few ingredients. So it can potentially complement a wide variety of main dishes.
Asparagus tends to break down more quickly than most vegetables. It can dry out and become woody if you leave it in your fridge for too long. So it’s best to use it soon after you buy it, within 48 hours. You can help preserve its freshness by storing with a damp paper towel wrapped around the base of the stalks. Here’s some more interesting information about asparagus and its nutritional benefits.
Roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook asparagus. It really concentrates the flavor and gives it some extra crunch. There are lots of great recipes available online for roasted asparagus. Here’s how I like to do it:
Roasted Fresh Asparagus
1 pound asparagus (for roasting, thicker stalks work better than thinner stalks)
1-2 T olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 400°. Break the tough ends off each asparagus stalk. If you bend the stalk, it will break exactly where it needs to. Discard the tough ends. Line a baking pan with foil. Coat the asparagus spears with olive oil and place in a single layer on your baking pan. Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.