"Love at first bite" is not how I would describe my relationship with asparagus. It was on my list of least favorite foods for years on years. Despite childhood my complaints, my dad put it on the dinner table it relentlessly. Maybe he was on to something, because I'll load my plate with seconds and thirds when it comes to asparagus now.
Then again, way back then, I hadn't tried asparagus like this: drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with fresh lemon zest, and dusted with shredded cheese. Oh no -- back then it was always steamed. But steamed asparagus and oven-roasted asparagus can not be compared. They are a world apart.
Use thinner asparagus for this recipe. It cooks quickly and gets crispy (the crispy bits are the best). Plus, the cheese to asparagus ratio is ideal on the skinnier stalks!
Speaking of cheese, let's talk about the cheese: you could really use what ever type of hard cheese you want for this recipe. Parmesan would work great. I used a 3-year Gouda I splurged on at Whole Foods that is equally as hard as parmesan for these photos. Robusto would probably also be great!
Roasted asparagus is the perfect side to grilled fish or this Walnut & Herb Crusted Salmon.
Serves: 4 | Total Time: 20 minutes
- 1 pound asparagus (I prefer the skinnier ones for this recipe)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1-2 tablespoons finely grated hard cheese, such as 3-year gouda or parmesan
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus lemon slices for garnish
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Fit a baking sheet with a Silpat (affiliate link!) or parchment paper.
- Cut the last inch from each stalk of asparagus and discard. Spread stalks out on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, using a pastry brush to coat each stalk, or simply turning the stalks over with a fork until they are well coated. Sprinkle with cheese and lemon zest, and then season with salt & pepper.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, until tops of the asparagus start to turn crisp and stalks are bright green. They should be tender through. Serve hot, with lemon slices for garnish.