Did you know asparagus was a weed? I found this out when my parents got out of the car and picked it from a sandy ditch by the side of the road in Southern Utah. No wonder I hated asparagus when I was a kid.
Asparagus looked weird and did not taste like ice cream. Contributing to my dislike of the fat grass was the embarrassment I suffered as cars whizzed by while my parents plucked the “culinary wonder” from the side of the road.
Luckily, I overcame my embarrassment, and somewhere along the way learned to love asparagus! There are a couple of reasons why asparagus is awesome (and even fun!)
- Getting it ready to cook is wonderful entertainment. Even kids love to do it! When you are preparing asparagus, you will probably notice that the ends of the stalks are a little dry, especially if you have purchased them from a store instead of illegally removing native flora and fauna from the desert. Instead of cutting the ends off, you need to to gently break them. Just hold the asparagus near the end of the stalk and slowly bend until the asparagus snaps. It will break just at the right spot so that the tough end is discarded and the tender stalk is saved.
- It cooks up so dang fast! For this recipe, all you do is put the stalks on a foil-lined pan, roll them in some olive oil followed by a sprinkling kosher salt, and pop them in the oven. Ten minutes later, you have tender-crisp asparagus that retains its lovely green color and its nutrients!
- It just tastes good. When I presented my kids with this asparagus for the first time, they all made faces and proclaimed their dislike for it. But I required them to try it. After they ate their small asparagus sample, they asked for more. By the end of dinner, they were readily admitting that they liked it.
This easy asparagus pairs beautifully with my Lemon Pepper Salmon, which is also ready in just ten minutes!
- 1 lb. asparagus spears (medium thickness)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly grated black pepper (optional)
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse the asparagus.
- Break the tough ends off and discard.
- Lay the asparagus on a foil-lined pan.
- Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus and roll the spears back and forth until they are well-coated with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place pan in the oven and roast for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of lemon juice if desired.