Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Roasted Asparagus

We love asparagus in this house. And when I roast it using this method, I can even convince my finicky little boys to eat it. Somehow, the roasting intensifies the flavor and makes them even yummier. I apologize to reverting to the language of a five year old, here, but it's the simple truth. Roasting= yummier. I love that it's simple ingredients and relatively simple and quick to throw together. Plus, if I line my baking sheet with enough foil, I can even same myself the clean up time of one extra dish... always a plus in this house. I "heart" anything that can be done with foil versus a pot.

The original recipe (which I found on Allrecipes) calls for mushrooms and asparagus... I do it with and without, depending on what I have available. Leaving out the mushrooms and rosemary will still leave you absolutely delicious asparagus. But when I do have mushrooms on hand.... mmmm... they get so deliciously fat and plump, it just makes me giddy. Granted, I'm the kind of girl who gets giddy about plump mushrooms, so bear that in mind.

You can really do what you want with this. It's the roasting and kosher salt that makes them so delicious. I've done it without the rosemary and sometimes I add a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese... which is absolutely delicious. But the beauty of the recipe is that you can alter it to your tastes and really just eyeball everything.
Serves 6

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed (rather than cut the ends, I usually just break the stem near the bottom... it'll usually break off at the point where the asparagus starts to get "strawy"... yes, that's a word)
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, quartered or halved (optional)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced (optional)
about 2 Tbsp. olive oil (just eyeball this amount)
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. If you're lazy like me, double line a large baking sheet with foil. If you don't like you're food cooking on aluminum and aren't as lazy, just grab a large a baking sheet and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
3. Combine the asparagus and mushrooms in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and then season with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Toss well. (Honestly speaking... seeing as how I hate dirtying pots and pans... I usually do this all on the baking sheet... saves me another item to clean up!)

4. Spread the asparagus and mushrooms out in an even layer on your baking sheet.

5. Roast in your pre-heated oven, until tender, about 14-17 minutes.

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