If you’ve been smiling at the warmer weather forecasts, grinning at the flowering trees, and popping allergy pills like crazy, you too may be enjoying spring. You know what else is fantastic in the spring? Asparagus. When you aren’t dodging water puddles, realizing you forgot your umbrella in the car, and debating on how to dress when it’s frigid in the morning and downright hot in the afternoon, you should be eating asparagus. It’s in season right now, and its crisp green goodness is the perfect addition to any springtime meal. If you’re looking for a simple and quick way to prepare your asparagus– this Lemon Roasted Asparagus is just about as easy and delicious as you can get.
When you’re buying asparagus, you’ll see bunches with thin stalks and thick stalks. I usually get thin stalks, but if you’re planning on cooking your asparagus on a grill or a broiler at some point– the thicker stalks hold up better to heat. For this recipe, buy whichever you like best. Depending on your market or grocery store, you may find yourself staring at a wall of gorgeous, multi-colored stalks. Asparagus comes in green, all shades of purple, and white.* Again, for this recipe, chose whichever you like best (if you use white asparagus– peel it first). Check out this Serious Eats article to learn more about choosing, storing, and cooking different types of asparagus.
Making Lemon Roasted Asparagus
To prepare this tasty side dish, rinse the asparagus and trim off the woody bottoms. Set them in an oven-safe pan or cast iron skillet, and drizzle a little olive oil, golden balsamic*, salt, and pepper. Top with lemon slices, and roast 10-12 minutes (less time for thin stalks, more time for thick). Serve these roasted asparagus stalks while they’re still hot, and try to avoid devouring them all before the rest of your meal is ready. Or– go right ahead and eat them all, and serve the rest of the food with no regrets.
Note: Golden (or white) balsamic is exactly what it sounds like– a light, honey colored balsamic vinegar. It’s not quite as richly flavored or thick as regular balsamic, but is a great way to give balsamic flavor without adding a dark hue to your food. If you can’t find golden balsamic, you can substitute white wine vinegar (or substitute regular balsamic, but know that your asparagus won’t be quite as pretty).
Want more spring-time veggie recipes? Try these:
Lemon Roasted Asparagus
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2-3 TB golden balsamic vinegar (or sub white wine vinegar)
- ~1 tsp salt, black pepper
- 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Rinse asparagus and cut off the woody ends. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slice lemons and layer on top of asparagus.
Roast 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness of your asparagus.