Mmmmm, spring is here, and that means fresh asparagus. I usually wait until this time of year to buy asparagus, because it is fresh, delicious, and cheap right now! One of the things I hope to share more of on the blog, are recipes. I love to cook and feed my family yummy homemade goodness (and sometimes yummy frozen chicken nuggets!), but I haven’t been in much of a cooking mood lately, probably due to the fact that I’ve had a huge list of projects Ive been wanting to work on. Anyways, the hubs had a random Wednesday off this week, so I decided we needed a real meal to share, and whipped up this yummy asparagus, one of my go-to veggie sides.
This is really such a simple, yet elegant side dish. Quick enough for a weeknight supper, fancy enough to serve family or friends. Start with a big bunch of fresh asparagus. And you’ll also need olive oil and seasoning. I LOVE to use a steak seasoning because it already has all the flavors I want all mixed together. If you don’t have any, just use plenty of salt, pepper, and garlic(either fresh or powder).
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Rinse really well, and trim the ends. There are many methods to this- my grandma always snapped them off, and where they naturally break, is what length they should be. This is wayyy too much work for me (I’m lazy), and I detest the woody ends, so I simply keep mine all bundled together and chop off a generous third from the bottom.
Toss the ends- or save them for soup if you’re really ambitious, and spread the spears on to a baking sheet. Toss them with a drizzle of olive oil (EVOO if you’re a Rachel Ray fan), And then a generous sprinkle of seasoning. This is where I’ve seen things go wrong. Not necessarily terribly wrong, but just don’t be afraid to season those suckers! Nobody wants blah asparagus.
Now toss these around with your hands, making sure to evenly coat the spears in the oil and seasoning. Wash up, and pop em in the oven. Depending on the size of the spears, these are almost always done in a precise 7 minutes. You want them to be a beautiful bright green, and be perfectly crisp tender. I love that the ends get a little crunchy and sooo delicious.
You can totally stop here. Many nights that’s all I do- but if you want to take them up a notch and make it really special, its time for the parmesan. Ideally, you would use a fresh grated fancy-pants parm, but the good old green bottle I had on hand for spaghetti night was pretty tasty too. Use what you got. That’s my motto for cooking. Sprinkle a little (or a lot!) on top and enjoy!
Yuuummm. This base recipe works so well for a lot of other veggies too- broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, snap peas. My favorite is to do a veggie medley and mix them all together! And when the weather is nice, this is great on the grill too. Add some grilled chicken or steak and dinner is done!