Asparagus is not only a tasty addition to any garden, but it is a beautiful one as well. The dark green, fern-like foliage of the summer plants turn golden yellow in the fall in a way that is simply stunning. Growing asparagus is really very easy. The rule of thumb I go by is to plant 10 plants per person in the household. Therefore, our family of nine needs nearly 100 plants. I may need to plant more so that I will have some left to pickle after I've made my Roasted Asparagus a few times!
If you haven't been a fan of asparagus in the past, I think I may know why. Most people either steam or boil it, then serve it with a little salt and butter. I have found that when asparagus is prepared using this method, it usually ends up tasteless and mushy. I prefer a "bite" or al dente texture to my asparagus, which is one reason I like to roast it.
In addition, roasting actually deepens the flavor of this tasty vegetable, as it is a "dry heat" method of cooking. You must keep your eyes on the asparagus as it roasts, though, to keep it from overcooking.
In my book, Tracking the Outdoors In, I showcase this Roasted Asparagus recipe because of its simplicity and honest flavors — the taste of the asparagus really comes through by using just a few basic ingredients.
I like to change up the recipe through the season, too. Sometimes I'll add freshly squeezed lemon juice over the asparagus right after removing it from the oven. Other times, I'll sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the asparagus before it goes into the oven. Regarding this last method, beware: They're addictive as french fries. Enjoy!
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- If asparagus stalks are thick, snap each one at the bottom where it naturally breaks. Place asparagus on baking sheet, then drizzle it with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast for 10 to 15 minutes (depending upon the thickness of the asparagus) or until tender. Serve immediately.
By Stacy Harris
Stacy Harris is pioneering the farm-to-fork eating movement that includes harvesting wild animals in addition to domesticated animals and homegrown fruits and vegetables. She's the author of several books about sustainable living for healthy families, including her most recent release, Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living. For more recipes like this check out her website at GameandGarden.com and her Facebook page.