Roasted asparagus makes an appearance on our table a couple of time a week, this time of year. It’s as easy a cooking method as there is, and roasting any vegetable deepens its flavor. The high heat really makes the difference. You could totally skip the shallots and Parm for a very simple spring side dish, but they do make the asparagus company-special.
Thick or Thin Asparagus?
Your choice. The thin ones just need the bottom two inches cut off, cook faster and work nicely in sautéed or stir fried dishes. The fatter ones will conversely take longer to cook, but the thickness provides a much more satisfying bite.
How Long to Roast Asparagus?
The time it till take depends on a few things: the oven temperature, the thickness of the asparagus, and how al dente/crisp vs. soft you like your stalks. Here the temperature is set at 450° but say you were cooking something else at the same time and the oven needed to be set for 400°F or 425°F – no problem just cook the asparagus at that temperature, and add a bit of time. Skinny stalks will take from 7 to 10 minutes at 450°, and thicker stalks will take from 10 to 14 minutes, again, depending on how tender you like them.
These were also lovely paired up with this Leek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche. How Spring-ish does this plate look?
I also want to make a plug for crispy shallots, which make everything better. They take about 10 minutes, and you can make them while the asparagus is in the oven. Make extra if you can, and use them on burgers, over other roasted vegetables, folded into an omelet, on top of some lamb or filet on a crostini.You can cook them until they are crispy, but make sure they don’t get too browned, or just cook them lower and slower until they are caramelized and soft – both are delicious.
If you are an asparagus fan, and there are lots of us, you’ll be wanting some more things to do with those perky green stalks.
Other asparagus recipes:
- Asparagus with Herb Dipping Sauce
- Asparagus with Creamy Lemon Dressing
- Asparagus with Creamy Mustard-Oregano Sauce
- Sesame Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms
Simple Roasted Asparagus with Shallots and Parmesan
- 1 ½ pounds asparagus trimmed and lower stalks peeled if necessary
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- 3 shallots halved and sliced
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Juice of half a lemon optional
- Preheat the oven to 450° F.
- Place the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle tablespoons of the olive oil over. Toss gently to coat evenly. Sprinkle on the salt, and toss again. Roast for 7-10 minutes for thin stalks, 9-14 for thick ones. Remember that they will continue to cook a bit after you remove them from the oven, so take them out while they’re still a little firmer than you would like. The wide time ranges are because some people like their asparagus pretty crisp, some pretty soft.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for about 10 minutes until they are browned and just a bit crisp (not burned! Crisp).
- During the past minute of roasting the asparagus, pull out the baking sheet, scatter the Parmesan over the spears and return to the oven so that the Parmesan melts slightly.
- Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter, and scatter the shallots over the top. Season with pepper, and if you like, squeeze the lemon over all or some of the asparagus. Serve hot or warm.
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