Sunday, April 25, 2010

Roasted Asparagus

I am completely obsessed with roasted vegetables. I somehow managed to go through 29 years of my life without roasting a single one, but after discovering them last summer, I now make them at least 3 times a week. You name it, I'll roast it, but some of my favorite vegetables to roast are tomatoes - cherry tomatoes, especially - zucchini, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus.

Oh, asparagus, how happy I am to see you again at less than $8 a pound! I won't buy vegetables if they are out of season, so it has been quite a while since asparagus has been in my house. As long as I can get it at the farmer's market, however, it will be making regular appearances and I couldn't be happier about it. It is one of the things I look most forward to about spring. On a side note, have you ever made asparagus pizza? If not, you have to! My absolute favorite; Peter Reinhart's Pizza Napoletana crust, asparagus, fresh mozzarella and fresh parmesan. Heaven. And on this week's menu. I know, I digress... I'm just so excited about the asparagus!!!

I roast all vegetables in basically the same way - simply; nothing but olive oil and salt. Once in a while I'll add some ground coriander, but most often it is just olive oil and salt. The amazing thing about roasting is that it cooks the vegetables more slowly than on the stovetop, bringing out flavors that you never knew could exist. It also creates wonderful textures. The edges get crispy and caramelized, while the insides are soft, almost creamy with many vegetables.

If you haven't roasted vegetables before, you really must give it a try. It is an easy, effortless way to create a healthy and delicious meal. What I'm giving you below is more of a guideline than a recipe, I never measure anything when I roast... Let me know if you have questions.

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus - about a pound
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Wash asparagus and pat dry - the drying is very important, you don't want excess moisture, or it will steam and get mushy. Trim woody ends. Drizzle baking sheet with olive oil - just enough to give it a thin coat - and spread it evenly with your fingers. Lay asparagus on baking sheet, placing them in a single layer as much as possible. Drizzle with more olive oil and salt to taste. Toss with your hands until asparagus is evenly coated. Re-arrange in single layer and place in oven. Check asparagus every 10 minutes, turning it as necessary. Remove from oven when it is tender and ends are crispy and caramelized - about 25 minutes. This works for any vegetable, though if you use a variety with different cooking times you'll want to stagger their additions to the baking sheet. If you use a large amount of vegetables, opt for more of a roasting pan or baking dish with high sides. As a variation, add a handful of nuts after the asparagus has been in the oven for about 10 minutes, the crunchy toasted nuts add a fantastic dimension to the dish.

Also, I'm having a fabulous Le Creuset giveaway right now!!! Enter here.


  1. I saw you referenced on two different posts today and had to take a look at your comment- and then of course comment, as I am a huge fan of roasted veggies and love the simplicity yet deliciousness of the asparagus. If you're in a pinch, try broiling- it takes only 5 or 7 minutes. (I put it on the second level so it's not as fast.)

  2. I keep trying to like asparagus, but just can't get there. However, I recently used the technique on some green beans, and they were amazing. I love roasted vegetables, too; not sure why I don't make them more often.

  3. If you like roasted veggies try this!
    Roasted Rosemary potatoes with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, and Asparagus, you can actually put any veggies you'd like into this recipe, thats why I like it so much.

    -1 Yellow Squash halved lengthwise then cut into half inch wide slices
    -1 Zucchini " "
    -1 Bunch Asparagus chopped into 2" pieces
    -1/2cup Olive Oil
    -1 Clove Garlic minced
    -2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary minced or 1 tbsp Dried
    -1 tsp black pepper
    -1 tsp salt
    -4 medium sized red potatoes cut into large cubes

    -Pre-heat the oven to 375F. put all the potatoes into a bowl and add 1 tbsp of Olive oil to the potatoes along with all but about a tsp of the Rosemary and half the garlic and toss with a bit of salt and pepper. arrange on a sheet pan (baking sheet) and bake until the skin wrinkles a little.

    -In a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat add oil, salt, pepper, zucchini, squash, and asparagus, cook until tender, but not squishy, then add a tsp of the rosemary and the other half of the garlic.

    -Once the potatoes are done and you can stick a knife into them with ease, add them to the veggies in a bowl, or however you want and serve hot.

    This recipe is one of my own so it's just a guide, alter it however you want and call it your own, thats the fun part! I usually put more garlic than that, and sometimes even some tomatoes and add it to pasta, it's delicious no matter what you do to it. ENJOY!!!

  4. Hands-down the BEST way to prepare asparagus! I've been eating roasted asparagus by the pound :)

  5. One of our favorites. Yours look tasty!

  6. This is what I am talking about! The perfect way to cook thing asparagus! GREG

  7. Oh, how I missed asparagus! I love roasted vegetables. Best way to prepare them, if you ask me. I usually use nothing but olive oil, salt and pepper, but occasionally, I'll make a honey-lemon glaze. It works especially well on carrots, squash and white/purple asparagus. Just make sure to add the glaze AFTER the roasting. The lemon juice prevents the vegetables from softening. Something I learned the hard way (literally). ;-)

  8. This will be a new taste sensation for me as I've yet to try roasted asparagus, and am looking forward to getting fresh local asparagus from a farm soon, great ideas and inspiring flavors.

  9. i wished I liked asparagus cause I would try roasting them. They look good. Seriously!! I do love other roasted veggies.

  10. We roast asparagus once a week in our home. Our favorite is to put Parmesan on the top before roasting. Oh my, it is amazing and everyone thinks you did something elegant or hard..

  11. Pretty photos. I was so happy when asparagus appeared at the farmer's market and have been buying lots of them. Roasted vegetables are the best. I'm sure more kids would love vegetables if they ate them roasted.

  12. The photos of the asparagus taken on your deck look great and your blog is interesting and easy to read. Roast asparagus is one of my favorites too.

  13. I love roasting vegetables too. I just recently tried a sweet potato and cauliflower combo. Delish!

  14. I made asparagus last night, just this way and everyone loved it! Even the 6 year old son of our friends!

  15. I love roasted asparagus and that pizza sounds delicious. I love roasting vegetables, they have so much flavor :) Hope you're having a great weekend.


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