Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Fresh asparagus, oven-roasted with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Top with cheese and buttered bread crumbs for a gratin.
Fresh asparagus, oven-roasted with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Top with cheese and buttered bread crumbs for a gratin.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus is my number one spring veggie. Yes, I know that it's available year round these days, but out of season it's not the best in my little ole humble opinion. The spears are often tiny and tough, and not nearly as flavorful as when they are at peak and in season in April and May.

It's very easy to cook also, with my number one favorite being a butter-steamed skillet method, followed by oven roasted. I'm still working on perfecting my air fryer version!

The one biggest problem with asparagus is that most people cook it to death.

Here's some helpful asparagus tips:
  • Enjoy it in season because that's when it's at its best!
  • Always choose fresh asparagus that is smooth in texture, bright green and firm, with tightly closed tips. If it doesn't look fresh, it likely isn't.
  • While thinner stalks are great for stir fry and steaming, choose the thicker ones for roasting and grilling.
  • Store asparagus like a bouquet of flowers in your refrigerator, standing in a tall mug, with about an inch of water in the bottom. Place the produce bag loosely over the top. Change the water out daily, and if you happen to not get to them right away, and they will stay fresh for about a week.
  • Trim the ends by cutting off about an inch from the bottom. While snapping at the natural bend works, it also wastes a lot of the otherwise edible asparagus.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to strip away the outer layer of the lower portion on those especially thick stalks.
  • Parcook or blanch asparagus and then shock in ice water to retain color and stop the cooking process, where appropriate such as in a salad where you only want it crisp tender.
  • Don't overcook! Keep residual cooking in mind as asparagus will continue to cook as they rest.
It's a fantastic stand-alone veggie of course, holding its own against any entrée as a great side dish, but I also like to incorporate it into other recipes, like cold salads and pasta, and even appetizers and quiches.

This gratin is an interesting way to dress it up a little. 


Mix 1/2 cup Italian style panko crumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter; set aside. Prepare asparagus as in the recipe; remove from oven and turn oven to broil. Distribute 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of asparagus and sprinkle buttered crumbs evenly on top. Place under the broiler for about 30 seconds or until crumbs are browned.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below.

Here's how to make my oven-roasted asparagus.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Trim about 1-inch of the tough ends off the asparagus, rinse and place on the baking sheet. 



I like to use a lemon-based seasoned vinaigrette. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings and drizzle over the asparagus.



Bake at 400 degrees F for roughly 8 to 10 minutes, or until the thickest spear can be easily pierced with the tip of a steak knife, rolling them in the pan once during cooking. Total cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the asparagus spears; take care not to overcook.



Remove from the oven and transfer to serving dish. A light dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a great way to finish them.

Fresh asparagus, oven-roasted with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Top with cheese and buttered bread crumbs for a gratin.


For more of my favorite veggie and side dish recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!
Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Yield: About 4 servings
Author: Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 25 Min
Fresh asparagus, oven-roasted with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Top with cheese and buttered bread crumbs for a gratin.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning, or to taste, optional
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  2. Trim about 1-inch of the tough ends off the asparagus, rinse and place on the baking sheet.
  3. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings and drizzle over the asparagus.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F for roughly 8 to 10 minutes, or until the thickest spear can be easily pierced with the tip of a steak knife, rolling them in the pan once during cooking. Total cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of the asparagus spears; take care not to overcook.
  5. Remove from the oven and transfer to serving dish. A light dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a great way to finish them.

Notes:

For Gratin: Mix 1/2 cup Italian style panko crumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter; set aside. Prepare asparagus as above; remove from oven and turn oven to broil. Distribute 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of asparagus and sprinkle buttered crumbs on top. Place under the broiler for about 30 seconds or until crumbs are browned.

Asparagus, Side Dish, Vegetable
Side Dish
American
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Posted by on January 1, 2020
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