May 15, 2008

Roasted Asparagus for Weekend Herb Blogging

Right now we are lucky to be enjoying Washington grown asparagus for a great price. So we eat it all the time. We never seem to tire of it. Roast it, steam it, saute it and crack an egg over it, toss it into a salad, blend it into soup, just give me my asparagus.

I learned a great food and money-saving technique from watching Jaques Pepin's Fast Food My Way series on DVD from the library. One method of trimming asparagus is to bend the stalk and let it snap where it naturally gives. That is certainly a quick way but you have just snapped off a third (in some cases half) of the stalk you paid for by weight (asparagus on the left was snapped at the natural bend while the spear on the right was trimmed a la Jaques). Jaques takes a just a couple of extra minutes and a plain old vegetable peeler and trims the outer layer of the last third or so of each stalk. Underneath that layer is perfectly tender asparagus. Then just cut off the very end bit. Hold the stalk with the tip away from you and peel toward your body to remove the green layer of skin. You've just salvaged much of your purchase! Leaves you with more to enjoy in the meal. I should note that this is only prudent with the fat stalks of asparagus. Honestly, you won't catch me (or Jaques) peeling the skinny ones.

Here is a really easy and delicious way to fix asparagus.

Preheat oven to 450. Take one bunch of thick-stalked asparagus, wash and pat dry. Trim the stalks as described above. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss them around to coat with the oil. Any more oil will only smoke like crazy in your oven. Roast on the top rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes. Leave a bit of snap to them. That's it. From here you can simply dig in or take the roasted asparagus and include them in a salad, on a pizza, in a sandwich, use the tips as a garnish for soup. It's endless.

I'm submitting this post to this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by
Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen.


Y said...

Sounds great. I usually steam or boil my asparagus. Might roast them next time.

vb said...

The flavor is so rich when you roast them. Try it next time!


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