Friends, I am on such a roasting kick. Have you noticed? Roasting is just the simplest method of cooking and yields the tastiest flavor. So, when life gets busy…and you know it does…roasting everything is a perfectly acceptable sneaky short-cut.
When a recipe is this simple, ingredients become even more important. When shopping for asparagus, the first I thing look at are the tips. I look for tips that are firm with closed petals and minimal to no budding. The stalks should be a nice bright green and be firm without looking woody or dehydrated. The asparagus should have its ends in water and be moist. March is when asparagus comes into season and the perfect time to grab a bunch or two. As soon as you bring your asparagus home, chop off about an inch from the bottoms and place them in a container with a few inches of water and store in the fridge. Use them quickly as they really don’t store well for long.
Asparagus comes in varying sizes from super skinny to very thick and broad. Their size depends on the age of the underground crown from which they grow. You can use your preference for this recipe. I prefer a medium size for roasting. The very thin spears can get too dried out when roasted this way. The fatter spears work well, but just personally are not my favorite as they can be a bit woody.
I’m pretty sure everyone has their own method of trimming asparagus. Some people believe in the snap method, where you hold the spear between your fingers and bend it until it snaps. The thought is that it will snap off just where the woody stem begins. Hmmm. I haven’t found that to be accurate. Personally, I go through the spears, cut about where I think the woodiness begins and just give one a taste-test. That approach seems to work fine.
The lemon in this recipe makes all the difference! It’s not there just to flavor the asparagus themselves. I find that if I slice the lemons nice and thin, they caramelize a bit and get a delicious sweetness. I eat them along with the asparagus. Feel free not to, but really, they are kind of wonderful, especially paired with the asparagus.
Today, I’m sharing this recipe on a dear friend’s site, Lauren Kelly Nutrition. Lauren and I met over a year ago at a food blogger’s event. I instantly felt connected to her. Lauren is one of those people who is always smiling and that smile just pulls you right in. She’s incredibly kind and generous. When I told her that my daughter was going to be majoring in nutrition in college, she took the time to email her and give her some guidance. So, it was very upsetting to hear that Lauren had to have emergency surgery and was hospitalized not too ago. Thankfully, she is doing well and is home recovering. Lauren is so well loved, that many of her food blogging friends have teamed up to create some recipes for her site as she heals. Head on over to grab this recipe and browse Lauren’s as well. We share the same philosophy on healthy eating and I know you’ll love her work!
Roasted Asparagus and Lemon
- 1 pound fresh asparagus ends trimmed
- 1 large lemon sliced thinly
- 1 1 ⁄2 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- coarse kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- On a large baking sheet, spread the asparagus into a single layer. Top with the lemon slices, intermingling them throughout. Drizzle with olive oil and just a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
- Roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until the spears are just a bit charred.
- Serve hot, room temperature, or chilled.