Roasted asparagus with Parmesan is wonderfully tender-crisp. Bake it at 400°F for just 15 minutes. Overcooking will make it stringy!
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.
Roasting enhances the flavor of vegetables
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.
The ingredients needed to make roasted asparagus
You'll only need five simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
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.
How long do you bake asparagus?
I bake it at 400°F for just 15 minutes. I find that this is the optimal time and temperature when using medium-thickness stalks.
The detailed instructions for making this recipe are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. First, arrange the asparagus on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
2. Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings and with parmesan.
3. Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes.
Why is my roasted asparagus stringy?
I suspect this happens when it is overcooked. Asparagus 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.
Use garlic or garlic powder - it's up to you
I use garlic powder when making this recipe because its fine granules coat the spears uniformly. If you prefer fresh minced garlic, that's fine too.
What main dishes go with it?
This is such a versatile side dish. It goes with almost anything. But since I use a 400°F oven, I like to serve it with a main dish that I can cook in the same oven. Here are a few examples:
What about leftovers?
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!
And 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.