Many people think they don’t like a particular vegetable at all, only to find that they DO like it when it’s prepared in a way that brings out its greatest attributes. When I was little, I always thought I didn’t like green beans because we always had them canned. Then, my mom started buying fresh green beans, which taste amazing! (Just boil them until tender, drain them, slap them in a pot with some garlic and a little olive oil, and serve hot!)
Similarly, people may have an aversion to asparagus after having some that was overcooked until it was a slimy, limp mess, or maybe they had tried it canned before – after all, the appearance of canned asparagus alone is enough to turn off anybody! But just wait until you try it roasted! And this recipe is easy for even the most amateur of chefs, I promise.My absolute favorite way to prepare asparagus is roasting it with a little olive oil, garlic, and parmesan. Honestly, this is my favorite way to prepare many vegetables, including summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Roasting is a great way to prepare vegetables since it keeps the nutrients in the asparagus. This is in contrast to boiling, where nutrients leach out into the water, which is later discarded. Additionally, it’s a no-mess, quick and easy preparation method that leaves vegetables tasting fresh, crisp, and flavorful.
Here’s what you do to roast asparagus:
1. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
2. Wash your asparagus - I use about half a bundle to make two servings. Snap off the hard, woody bottoms of each piece of asparagus and discard this part – the asparagus will just break where it needs to, around 2-3 inches from the bottom.
3. Line a baking sheet with foil (optional step – this just decreases the clean-up time to practically nothing!)
4. Drizzle a little virgin olive oil on the baking sheet. Place the asparagus on the sheet in a single layer and wiggle them around in the olive oil to distribute the olive oil all over the foil and the asparagus.
5. Plop some minced garlic (fresh or bottled) on the asparagus – I use maybe two teaspoons of the bottled kind to make two servings. Sprinkle the asparagus with some grated parmesan cheese.
6. Put the whole thing in the oven for about 7-12 minutes (closer to 7 minutes for thinner asparagus, closer to 12 minutes for thicker asparagus) until the asparagus is crisp, hot, and tender. Hint: I just snack on them intermittently during this range of time until they taste amazing. You can’t mess it up that way! Enjoy!Asparagus is a nutrient powerhouse absolutely loaded with vitamin K, A, C, B1, iron, fiber, and folate, as well as many phytonutrients, giving it great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Research even suggests some pretty powerful cancer-fighting properties for this super-healthy veggie. If you aren’t currently an asparagus-lover, it is definitely time to give this vegetable another try.
Remember, eating your vegetables doesn’t have to be a chore – roasting is a great way to ensure your cooked veggies stay crisp and bursting with flavor. Try it out yourself and let me know what you think!Thanks for reading!