In our family, Easter dinner varies. Sometimes we’ll have ham, sometimes, tri-tip, or, as the in the case this year, a roast. Often we’ll have potatoes, roast or mashed, and a couple vegetables. A salad, maybe, or some mushrooms and onions. But one thing remains unchanging throughout the years: we always always always have asparagus.
My mother grew up in the Delta, and my grandfather and his brother owned a ranch and grew asparagus which they sold and shipped all over the world. We usually just steam it and serve it with lemon and mayonnaise, but this year I served glazed carrots and mashed potatoes for our sides. My burners were getting a bit cramped so I decided to pop the asparagus into the oven and call it a day. I’m glad I did because Anthony adored it this way and I’ll probably make this my standby recipe all throughout spring.
If you’ve never cooked asparagus before, don’t worry about their stems. Just snap them off at the bottom with your hands–they will break exactly where they are supposed to–and you’re good to go. No knife necessary, no peeler needed.
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off and discarded
- olive oil
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- finely shredded Parmesan cheese
– Preheat your oven to 425 F. You want your oven really hot so you can get some nice browning action on the outside of your asparagus stalks before they become overcooked and mushy.
– Line a pan with foil and coat spears with oil. I used spray oil and coated every spear thoroughly. If I would have used oil straight from the bottle it would have been a few tablespoons at least.
– Season spears with course salt and generously grind over the black pepper.
– Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the spears and roast for about ten minutes. They are fantastic as is, green and cooked but still retaining a bite, or with a spritz of lemon and a dab of mayonnaise.