Oven-roasted Asparagus with Parmesan
I have always liked asparagus, but never really prepared it myself until my family joined a local CSA farm three years ago. I now absolutely love it and preparing it this way is my favorite way to enjoy it. I am always trying new things with it, but I think this is the best preparation of asparagus spears that I have done. I can even get my husband to eat it this way and he is not a fan of vegetables. I am still working on getting my children to eat this, but that may take me a while. I serve this as a side dish, usually with grilled chicken, but I love this asparagus so much it sometimes becomes my whole meal. And my lunch the next day.
I have prepared the asparagus spears before on my grill the same way. This also works wonderfully. I have a gas grill with three burners and I turn off the middle burner. I have the other two set on medium heat. I cook the spears on a cookie sheet the same way as I do in the oven for about the same time. Always check your spears about 10 minutes and they should turn out great. I hope you enjoy my very simple asparagus spear recipe!
- 2 lbs asparagus, fresh
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground if possible
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt, freshly ground
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, dried powder or shredded fresh
- 1 Tbsp breadcrumbs, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°. Wash and pat dry asparagus spears. Snap off woody ends of asparagus. To do this, bend them carefully until the large end breaks off. You can trim the ends off with a knife to make them straighter looking if you wish.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lay out the asparagus spears in a single layer across the whole cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the spears. Roll the asparagus so it is all coated with the olive oil. I prepared a second, smaller pan for some asparagus that I wanted to sprinkle bread crumbs over in addition to the cheese and spices.
- Sprinkle the pepper, Sea salt and garlic salt evenly over the asparagus spears. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over all the asparagus. In my additional pan, I sprinkled Italian style breadcrumbs over the asparagus spears as well. I did not want them to seem dipped in a batter, I just wanted a little crispness on them from the breadcrumbs. Next time, I may prepare an egg based batter to more fully cover them in breadcrumbs, but I really do prefer it very light on asparagus spears.
- Roast asparagus in the oven for about 30 minutes. I check mine every 10 minutes and turn it each time that I check it. The ends should start browning as it begins to caramelize nicely. Check for doneness with a fork, it should pierce the asparagus spear fairly easily with just a little snap as it breaks the skin. Bear in mind that skinnier pieces will cook faster than thicker pieces and keep a close eye on smaller spears. Serve immediately when done as a side dish and enjoy! I actually ate so many of these spears, I did not eat much else for dinner.