A couple of years ago, my wife returned from visiting a friend in Colorado with some great stories, photos, and this recipe - her friends favorite recipe for asparagus, from Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa" show and one of her cook books (I don't know which one, but it's on page 46...). The "Contessa" says in her book (I only have photocopied page of this recipe) that she prefers thick asparagus, but I kind of like the thin ones better. I make it as a side dish, using only a pound instead of the 2 ½ she calls for in her recipe.
We made this recently along side some panko crusted scallops (yep, I'll post that one, too), and, as usual, they came out great. The recipe is simple and straight forward and you don't need anything special other than some good fresh asparagus:
Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
1 pound fresh asparagus
ground black pepper
Yeah, there's no exact amounts, just follow the directions below and use your best guess on what you like:
Preheat your oven to 400°
Trim the aspragus of their tough woody bottoms - don't worry it's easy. Just snap the bottoms where they want to snap. It's so easy even a 6 year old can do it:
If you have thick asparagus and the bottoms after "snapping" are still tough, just peel the bottoms down a bit with a vegetable peeler.
Lay the trimmed asparagus on a foil lined cookie sheet:
and drizzle them with olive oil. Salt and pepper them:
Roast them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes - BE CAREFUL and keep an eye on them. If they are thin, you'll only need 15 minutes at most.
sprinkle the parmesan over them and pop them back into the oven for just a minute, then serve them up. The Contessa suggests serving them with lemon wedges, we just like 'em straight up.
This is the finished product along side the afore mentioned scallops:
Oh, and sorry about the video quality above; it's our first attempt at using video on this blog. We'll try again and might even use sound next time!