Rebirth. Every year.
It is so miraculous!
In the north, spring brings welcome warm winds and sun on your cheeks. And shoots of early perennials leap from the earth. In March, I inspect our garden for the earliest signs of life. In April and May, I am signing the praises of fresh tender asparagus and using it any way I can think of.
Sure, you can buy it fresh in many markets through out the year. It is often expensive and I ignore it most of the time. Too often, it looks like tired little soldiers with droopy heads. The quality of super fresh asparagus is so superior that I buy it only when I can get it from local growers. In the spring, it is olive green with a crisp snap of the spear. Thick or thin stalks, which is better? It is a personal choice, I prefer thick. And for me, frozen and canned asparagus just do not measure up.
Asparagus is a dieter’s delight. It has less than 30 calories per cup! But it is rich in iron, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins A, C, and K. And a 1-cup serving even has 3 grams of fiber. Serving roasted asparagus is such a treat you will not feel deprived in any way.
Simple Roasted Asparagus
So spring-y, so simple, so quick.
Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
Fresh asparagus spears, 5-7 per person
Olive or canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, trim the bottom end of the spears.
Arrange the spears in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with a bit of oil and rub it around the spears.
Roast for about 10 minutes. Season to taste.
Lemon punch– sprinkle fresh lemon juice and grate the zest over the top before serving.
Orange dream– drizzle thawed orange juice concentrate over the spears. Use calcium fortified OJ concentrate for a little boost of calcium.
Sweet tang– drizzle with good balsamic vinegar when the spears come out of the oven.
Crunchy and salty crust– top spears with grated parmesan before roasting.
Soft and creamy finish– about half way through roasting, top with crumbled goat cheese.
For even more texture and nutrition– top any of the above with chopped nuts.