Roasted Lemon-Parmesan Asparagus
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
Total carbohydrates: 5 grams per serving
At the beginning of asparagus season, when it’s so fresh and exciting that I can’t believe I get to live on the same planet as it, I like asparagus cooked as simply as possible. For me that means barely boiled in a shallow panful of salted water and dotted with a bit of butter before serving. Later, though, I like to expand my repertoire. In this case, roasting brings out all the sweetness of the vegetable, and the cheese and lemon add a bit of richness and tang. If you’ve never prepared asparagus before, here’s a tiny note about trimming them: the bottoms are woody, so you’ll want to snap them off. Pick up an asparagus, bend it gently, and you’ll feel the natural snapping place. I’m sorry – does that sound like directions for reading a crystal ball? I swear it won’t feel mystical when you actually try it.
If you’re looking to:
Lower the fat: Use only 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Lower the salt: Skip the salt.
1 bunch of asparagus (around 1 pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt)
½ cup grated parmesan
Juice and grated zest of around ¼ of a lemon
Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rinse the asparagus in a sinkful of cold water, trim or snap off the bottoms, then dry them briefly on a clean dish towel.
Put them on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle them with the olive oil. Toss them around with tongs, then spread them out and sprinkle with salt.
Put them in the oven and roast until they’re starting to color and seem mostly tender when you pierce one with a knife – usually around 10 minutes (thinner ones may take less time, so check them at 5).
Sprinkle the cheese over the asparagus, toss again, then roast another 2 minutes until the cheese has mostly melted.
Sprinkle on the lemon zest and juice and serve right away or at room temperature.