Sunday, April 10, 2011

Simple Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

In a world of cakes, candies and cookies, sometimes you just need...asparagus?  Yes, over here at The Sweet Touch house, we do sometimes eat green foods.  Crazy, but true.  I rarely "crave" vegetables.  Quite frankly, I question the sanity of people who do but that's a different story for a different day.

My belief is that vegetables don't have to be boring and bland.  You shouldn't have to plug your nose in order to get down a bowl full of salad or a side dish of green beans.  Likewise, asparagus, especially right now while it's in season, can taste delightful with just a few simple ingredients.  Veggies such as asparagus can be quite intimidating if you have never tried them.  Here are a few tips to get you started.

1.  Buy it in season.  Asparagus season runs roughly from April through June, so now is a great time to give it a try!
2.  I don't discriminate against different sizes of asparagus but some say that the thinner spears are more tender, less "woody" and cook faster, so if in doubt I would go thinner.
3.  Store your asparagus upright in a shallow mug or bowl filled with water to keep it from drying out.
4.  To determine where to cut your asparagus, gently bend near the base of one spear and see where it snaps in half.  Cut the rest of the spears in roughly the same place.
5.  This one is for Vanessa ;)  If you have an urge to grow your own asparagus, the tomato serves as a good companion plant because they both protect each other from bad stuff (research done by my husband, the scientist/wikipedia addict).
And finally,
6.  Choose a simple recipe that enhances the natural flavors found in your asparagus.

Here's a recipe my mom taught me several years ago that is impossible to screw up.  It uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry so hurry to the store and get your asparagus then we can get started!

Ready?  Ok, here we go!

Simple Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

- bundle of asparagus
- about 1 tbsp. olive oil
- about 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- about 1 tsp. minced garlic
- salt n pepper 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  (*Side note* If you are cooking out your could probably wrap the asparagus in a foil packet and put right on the grill.)  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (I do this to help during cleanup time but it isn't necessary).  Cut woody ends off each asparagus spear and place in one layer on the sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I usually just put on a couple glugs of the bottle but if you aren't sure you can use a measuring spoon).  Sprinkle garlic over the top and add salt and pepper to taste.  I like to use a more coarse sea salt to add some texture.  If you need to, use your hands to make sure all of the spears are evenly coated.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, carefully stirring the mixture about halfway through.  Serve it up!



  1. Mmmm, I went to a lunch with some delicious roasted asparagus today- I hadn't had it in a few months, just long enough to forget how tasty it is!

  2. @Meri, I agree, I haven't had in in months and I'm glad to have it back in my life! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. YAY! Thanks for the shout out Lucy! We love asparagus obviously since we are trying to grow our own. I totally agree you have to buy it in season. We often just blanch it or sautee and eat it plain or sometimes make homemade hollandaise sauce to drizzle over. We will definitely try your version!