September 20, 2021
Getting enough greens in your diet can be challenging, especially when cooking dinner after a long day of work or school. If you’re like most, you’re likely feeling exhausted, possibly uninspired, and, dare we say, somewhat lazy.
No need to feel bad. Plenty of home chefs experience the same feelings even after years of practice. Sometimes it’s easier and more tempting to reach for comfort foods, as they tend to be quicker and simpler to prepare. Not to mention, they hit the spot when it comes to satisfying cravings, too. That’s fine once in a while, but it can negatively affect your overall health in the long run. So, finding some go-to healthy meals will help you stay fit both now and in the future.
Oven-roasted asparagus is an excellent solution to help you increase your vegetable intake without feeling like you’re spending hours in the kitchen. It requires minimal steps to prepare, the oven does most of the work while you work on the rest of your meal, and you can change up the flavor depending on what you’re pairing it with or what you’re craving.
If you’re not a fan of blanched, boiled, or steamed asparagus, you may want to give the roasted version of this vegetable a try. It truly is one of the best ways to cook asparagus. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on shopping for, storing, and cooking asparagus, and we’ll answer some FAQs, too.
Tips for making the best roasted asparagus
How to choose fresh asparagus
Fresh asparagus is deep green and gets lighter toward the bottom of the stalk. In addition to its color, you can also gauge its freshness by how tightly packed its tips are. The tighter, the fresher. Also, choose stalks that are similar in size, length, and thickness for even cooking.
How to store asparagus
While it’s tempting to unload your asparagus into the crisper with the rest of the vegetables, keeping them fresh takes a few more steps. A bunch of asparagus should be treated like a bouquet of flowers in that they need trimming and water. To do this, find a heavy-bottomed glass or jar, snip the very bottoms off of your asparagus, place them in the glass, and add one inch of water. You want to ensure the ends are wet and the stalks are dry. Place a plastic bag over the top and store it upright in your fridge.
Alternatively, you can wrap a damp paper towel around the bottom of the bunch and place it in a sealable plastic bag. Using this method, you can store them in the crisper and not worry about tipping the glass.
How to season asparagus
Asparagus is versatile in that you can season it in many ways. Some suggestions are:
- Lemon zest or lemon wedges
- Lemon and herbs
- Lemon and parmesan
- Parsley or mint
- Salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Sliced almonds
How to make oven-roasted asparagus
This recipe for the best-roasted asparagus makes four servings, takes five minutes to prepare, and 10 minutes to cook, with 15 minutes total time.
1 pound asparagus spears
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425℉.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or a reusable baking mat that can handle oil.
- Remove the tough bottoms from the asparagus. You can do this using a chef’s knife, or you can snap them off by bending them near the end.
- Lay the asparagus out on the baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Roll the stalks around with your hand to coat them in oil evenly.
- Add the desired amount of salt and pepper. Roll the stalks around again to distribute the seasonings.
- Place them in the oven for nine to 15 minutes.
- Check for tenderness at the nine-minute mark using a fork. If it’s unable to pierce the stalk, it’s not ready yet, and if it’s tender but still crispy, it’s cooked. Be extra mindful of thin stalks, as they cook faster.
- Add additional seasonings if you’d like once they’re out of the oven.
- Serve immediately.
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fat: 3 grams
Sodium: 3 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sugar: 3 grams
Calcium: 27 milligrams
How do you know if asparagus is ready?
When roasting asparagus, once cooked, the stalks should be tender yet slightly crisp. You can test the texture using a fork. If it’s difficult to pierce, it needs more time. If it’s mushy, it’s overdone. The most desirable textures are somewhere in the middle. Some prefer their asparagus on the softer side, while others like a bit of crunch.
How do you cut and cook asparagus?
The bottoms of the asparagus are woody and tough, so you’ll need to cut them off. You can do so by cutting the stalk right where it turns from white to green. You can also pinch the bottom between your thumb and index finger and bend the stalk right above until it breaks. Once you’ve cut off all the bases, how to cook the asparagus depends on preference. You can boil, steam, blanch, sauté, broil, pan roast, barbecue, or roast the stalks to cook them. The choice is yours.
Is baked asparagus healthy?
Yes, baked asparagus is exceptionally healthy. Asparagus is rich in fiber and high in potassium and folate. It’s also low in calories, depending on how you dress it when cooking. Baking asparagus is a quick and simple way to add additional greenery to your diet. It also brings out the vegetable’s sweetness and gives it a more desirable texture than other cooking methods such as boiling or steaming.
What food goes well with asparagus?
Asparagus pairs amazingly well with many foods, including rice, potatoes, seafood, poultry, beef, pork, stews, and casseroles. You can also find soup or pasta recipes with asparagus. Additionally, you can bake asparagus with parmesan or wrap it in bacon.
How long does it take to bake asparagus?
With this recipe, baking asparagus can take between nine to 15 minutes. However, the time it takes depends on the thickness of the stalks and the desired texture. For ideal results, check your asparagus at the minimum cooking time to see if it needs more time or if you’d prefer to eat it as is.
Kick some asparagus
If you’re looking to add some greens to your diet, roasted asparagus is a fantastic side dish that will provide nutrients without boredom or fuss since it’s versatile and quick to put together.
Even if you’re typically not a fan of the vegetable, you may want to try roasting asparagus, as it gains an entirely different texture and deeper flavor profile instead of steaming or boiling it.
If you’re craving a meal and you’re missing some ingredients to make it, you can order them in seconds with Gopuff, and they’ll deliver them to your door in a matter of minutes. However, if you’re undecided about what you want for dinner, check out Gopuff’s blog for some inspiration.