There’s nothing like fresh, local asparagus. There are many ways to prepare it, but as with many things, simple is best. This Roasted Asparagus is simplicity itself, with a side of deliciousness.
This recipe started with a text from my friend Steve:
I have some asparagus for you from my nephew if you want to make soup.
I was in! Off I went to my friend’s, all masked up and bearing coffees from the shop up the street. He opened the fridge in his garage and there were several bags containing bundles of the slender green spears. I chose one, we had a socially distanced visit on the patio, and then I was off, with asparagus recipe ideas dancing in my head.
I thought about making soup. But I already have a couple recipes on the blog, like this one. I thought about making something fancier, but I’ve got that covered too. And then I realized that although I’ve described how I roast asparagus in several posts about meals I’ve made, I’ve never posted a recipe for Roasted Asparagus itself. That’s an omission that stands corrected as of today. The asparagus is worthy of standing alone!
But first, the origins of this asparagus …
Asparagus Growers: Koteles Farms Ltd.
My friend’s nephew grows asparagus at Koteles Farms near Tillsonburg, just one county over from me. If you’d like to learn more about their operation, check out their Facebook page. You might also enjoy this Field to Fork video about them.
I take a lot of pleasure in knowing that I’m supporting a family farm like Koteles. I’m from a family farm myself, although in my case we were egg producers (well, the hens produced the eggs, but you know what I mean).
Just to be clear, this isn’t a sponsored post. I haven’t been in contact with Koteles Farms, and they haven’t compensated me to write this post. The asparagus was a gift to me from my friend (thanks again, Steve!) who happens to be related to the farm’s owners.
Roasted Asparagus Simplicity
Roasted Asparagus is the essence of simplicity. Simply prepared with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings, you can roast it in the oven or grill it on the barbecue. It’s also adaptable. While I prefer to roast it at 400°F, if there’s something else in the oven at a lower temperature, I just leave it in longer.
I find that roasting or grilling asparagus enhances its flavour, and that spritz of lemon juice … well, you’ll see.
This is an easy side dish for any dinner. I often add it to sheet pan dinners where the meat and all veg are roasted on the same baking tray.
And while asparagus can be served up casually, it also lends itself to an elegant presentation, especially accompanied by a small wedge of lemon.
Enjoy this tender asparagus, with its unique flavour of spring and early summer. And although the local season is over now here, fortunately it’s easy to find all year round. As always, though, there’s something about enjoying it fresh from a field near you.
Roasted Asparagus is the essence of simplicity, allowing the unique flavour of this spring and early summer vegetable to shine. While I usually prepare it in the oven, it's also easily transferable to the grill.
- 1 bundle asparagus (4–5 inches in diameter)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon
- kosher or sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Holding a spear of asparagus near the middle and at the bottom, bend it gently. The bottom fibrous part will snap off. I use that as a guide for trimming the rest of the bundle, presuming they're all of a similar length. Rinse the asparage well and shake off the excess water.
Lay out the asparagus in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle over some olive oil (you won't need more than 1 – 1.5 tbsp for a bundle of this size). Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, keeping in mind that it's an accent, not a main ingredient. Sprinkle on a pinch or two of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Use the flat of your fingers to roll the asparagus, distributing the olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings.
Roast in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes in total, depending on how slender the stalks are. About halfway through, remove the pan and use tongs or a fork to roll the asparagus over.
When done, the asparagus will be tender and starting to take on hints of golden colour in some places. Remove it from the oven, plate and add another spritz of lemon juice.
Looking for More Asparagus Ideas?
As pleasing as asparagus is simply prepared, there are a lot of more inventive things you can do with it. How about a pizza with asparagus and prosciutto, that classic combination? Or an elegant Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart? Soup is another excellent vehicle to celebrate asparagus, like this Asparagus and White Bean Soup.