March 01, 2007

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Olive Oil



Ingredients:
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil. Drizzle the olive oil in the middle of the sheet. Break of any tough bottoms on the asparagus*. Place on the baking sheet and roll them around in the oil. Sprinkle with the kosher salt. Zest a lemon over the asparagus. Bake about 6 minutes or until the spears are bright green and tender, but not browned**. Serve immediately.



*An easy way to do this: hold an end in each hand. Bend the spear gently from the bottom, and the tough part will break right off where it meets the edible part.
**I like to take them out of the oven before the asparagus browns so avoid them drying out the tiniest bit. You can leave them in there longer but I don't think they are a vegetable (at least not when served on their own) that benefits from any sort of carmelization.




My thoughts:

This is my absolute favorite way to eat asparagus. If you fed it even to a hardened asparagus critic, I bet they'd love it. The asparagus is so bright, tender, crisp and the flavors are clear and simple. It is like Spring on a plate. To make it even easier, they are sort of self-saucing, their juices, the lemon zest, salt and olive oil mingle together while baking to form a light sauce that clings to the spears when you remove them from the pan.

15 comments:

  1. I prepare my asparagus in a similar fashion, except I pan sautee. I will have to try your method and compare results.

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  2. AmenamenamenAMEN! I LOVE asparagus cooked this way. Absolutely the best.

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  3. asparagus can benefit from carmelization! when we grill it ouside we let the tops get nice and crispy and they takes on a much deeper flavor. mmmm.
    long time reader of your blog - love it!

    lisa
    look.livejournal.com

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  4. Lisa: Oddly, I like the asparagus a little more well done when it is cooked with other vegetables, but alone, I like it unbrowned.

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  5. This is actually very similar to how we eat it in our home. I cook it almost twice as long and I go one step furthern. I take a peeler to the base of the asparagus and take off hat layer of skin. It makes them even more tender.

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  6. I followed your link from the 'recipes to share' group on flickr. What a beautiful blog!

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  7. My favorite way to eat it too.

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  8. I love the freshness of lemon on asparagus. Sometimes I add some toasted breadcrumbs too.

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  9. I LOVE roasted asparagus. I'm not a big lemon fan though> I usually make mine with a balsamic butter sauce.

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  10. lovely and simple recipe. some of the best ways to eat food are simple prep with little added to it.
    love this recipe.
    i actually prepare many veggies in this fashion...string beans and brussels are my fave aside from asparagus. i think if you get asparagus "off season" then it might benefit to carmalize it.. but fresh spring asparagus deserves to be served in this fashion

    thank you rachel!

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  11. I love this too - though, like Lisa, we do it on the grill!

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  12. Our local Harris Teeter had asparagus (the nice pencil thin ones) on special and I can't wait to try this method of cooking it! One of my favorite comfort foods (and a quick and light lunch or dinner) is creamed asparagus on toast.

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  13. Thank you. I have been lurking for awhile and made these on Sunday. They were wonderful and welcomed, even the non-asparagus eaters enjoyed.

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  14. I didn't think I liked asparagus until I had it pan roasted (and then later roasted in the oven). My step mom always steamed asparagus which I think makes it taste similar to lima beans which I don't like. The only reason I tried it this way was because I was having dinner at my inlaws and this was the only veggie my MIL served.

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  15. I love roasting asparagus as well, and I've become addicted to adding dried tarragon to the olive oil before roasting, and squeezing lemon on after. SO GOOD.

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