Roasting asparagus brings out all of it’s natural goodness. It’s sweetness and flavors intensify with the heat. After eating asparagus steamed or raw for most of my life, roasted definitely bring things to a whole new level. I believe it was the Barefoot Contessa who first did Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, but who can keep track anymore? My version of this dish is so simple, that I hesitate to even call it a recipe. However, it’s so good that I made a recipe out of it.
We are just starting to get enough asparagus out of the garden to make a meal out of it. There are 3 things from the garden that I wait for all year long: asparagus, strawberries, and heirloom tomatoes. Obviously, everything is great when it’s farm fresh, but those particular things stand out among my favorites.
When you’re trimming store bought asparagus you want to cut far enough up the stem that the knife cuts through easily, or snap the stems where they give. Asparagus from the store and even sometimes Farmer’s Markets is cut, so there is generally a bit of woody stem to get rid of. If you’re picking your asparagus from the garden, you want to snap it wherever it breaks easily. This way you won’t get any tough woody stems.
Lay them flat on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese. Don’t worry if most of it falls between the asparagus, that will turn into a good thing.
See, all that cheese that fell through made crispy crunchy goodness!
I love the summertime with abundant fresh produce, because everything tastes so amazing when it’s ultra fresh. I often find myself getting carried away with enthusiasm at the Farmer’s Market buying everything in sight. I mean, how can you choose? There’s peppers, corn, berries, peaches, tomatoes, and so much more. I love that sweet spot time at market when one season overlaps with another. The last of the asparagus and strawberries mingle with the first corn and tomatoes. Such abundance deserves a little enthusiasm.
- 1½ pounds asparagus
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash the asparagus and trim the ends.
- Place the asparagus on the baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese.
- Roast for 8-10 minutes until just tender.