I really like to roast vegetables. It’s nearly foolproof – drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle on some seasonings, and cook at a high temperature until they’re tender. I think it’s much better than boiling, where you lose so much of the flavor and nutrients to the water, or sautéing on the stove top, which can be messy and take too much of my time and attention. I feel like roasting vegetables allows me to preserve and intensify their natural flavors.
Roasting asparagus is especially easy – it cooks quickly, which makes it a great side dish for a weeknight dinner. It’s delicious, too… Knight swears he could eat this twice a week and never grow tired of it.
1-2 bundles of fresh asparagus
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Unbundle the asparagus. This step is particularly easy if you have a toddler handy.
On a chair.
Note the gratuitous display of chubby toddler fingers in the above picture. It’s really the only reason I included it.
Also, these asparaguses (asparagi?) are the biggest, fattest ones I’ve ever seen. I usually buy the thinner ones, but this was what the commissary had this week. So, fat asparagus, it is!
Trim the ends of the asparagus.
I’ve heard that you’re supposed to bend one stalk until it snaps and then use that one as a guideline to trim the rest. But I just hack off the last inch or so. I’m a rebel like that. And nobody here has died from eating the extra asparagus that should have been trimmed.
Spread the asparagus out in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Drizzle with the olive oil.
Sprinkle with the various seasonings and toss it all together with your hands.
Roast for 7-10 minutes, stirring/turning halfway through, until the edges are crisp and the stalks are tender. Or, in the case of the most ginormous asparagus in the world, roast them for 15-17 minutes.
If you thought you could never like asparagus, please, for the love of all things holy, try this recipe. The sugar is important because it removes some of the bitterness, and caramelizes really nicely on the outside of the asparagus. But it doesn’t turn it into candy or anything. The ginger and garlic make happy things together in your mouth. Promise. Just… go make it. You have my permission to not like it. I guess. But at least try it. Please.