Roasted asparagus with Parmesan is wonderfully tender-crisp. And it's ready fast - I bake it in a 400°F oven for just 15 minutes. Overcooking will make it stringy, so you definitely want to avoid that.
I really enjoy asparagus, especially when it's in season. It's one of my favorite vegetables. Luckily, my family likes it too, with the exception of The Picky Eater, who eats it, but reluctantly.
Roasting is one of my favorite ways of cooking this good-for-you vegetable. I do like simply steamed asparagus or microwave asparagus. But my kids and husband are not big fans. They much prefer it baked.
The magic of roasting
I suspect that growing up with a Dutch dad taught me to love very simply prepared vegetables. Boiled and salted, that's how Grandma used to cook her vegetables, and dad does the same.
I will admit though, that roasting vegetables greatly enhances their flavor and texture. And asparagus is a good example. When done just right, it's tender-crisp and very flavorful.
You'll only need five simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh asparagus: Try to find medium-thick stalks. Not the very thin ones and not super-thick ones.
Olive oil: I like extra-virgin olive oil. If you're worried about its smoke point, you could use a refined olive oil or avocadi oil.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
Garlic powder: Make sure it's fresh.
Grated Parmesan: Finely grated works best, not coarsely shredded.
Roasting asparagus in the oven is easy! The detailed instructions for making this recipe are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
First, you arrange the spears on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Next, you drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with seasonings and with grated parmesan cheese.
The final step is to bake the asparagus in a 400°F oven for about 15 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
I roast it in a 400°F oven for just 15 minutes. I find that this is the optimal time and temperature when using medium-thickness stalks. Remember that overcooking will ruin its texture and make it stringy.
I suspect this happens when it is overcooked. This vegetable cooks fast. So although you do want it cooked, not raw, it's better to slightly undercook it, and let it finish cooking on your plate.
If you don't overcook it, the stems will be tender-crisp and very flavorful. When overcooked, it becomes mushy and stringy.
Yes, you should wash it. Make sure to dry it well with a clean kitchen towel or with paper towels, so that when it's in the oven it roasts rather than steams.
Expert tip: use garlic powder
I use garlic powder when making this recipe because its fine granules coat the spears uniformly. However, if you prefer fresh minced garlic, that's fine too.
Recommended main dishes
This is such a versatile side dish. It goes with almost anything. But since I use a 400°F oven to make it, I like to serve it with a main dish that I can cook in the same oven. Here are a few examples:
If you happen to have leftovers, I have a great tip for you. Cold roasted asparagus is delicious! Think antipasti... that's the idea. I often have it for my lunch, with poached eggs. It's really good!
Sometimes I wrap the cold leftovers in prosciutto slices for an improvised version of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.
Of course, you can also reheat the leftovers. If you do, it's best to use the microwave on 50% power.
As for how long you can keep them, they keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 3 days.
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Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus tough ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the asparagus on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Drizzle with the olive oil, then toss with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and half the Parmesan.
- Bake until tender-crisp, about 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.