An Asparagus Dish That is Truly Easy
You know that feeling when you attempt to make a supposedly easy recipe, but end up with a sink full of dirty dishes? It’s a frustrating experience. For a recipe to be considered truly “easy,” it should not only be simple to make but also quick to clean up. It should require minimal effort, allowing you to enjoy a glass of wine as you effortlessly prepare it.
And that’s exactly what this oven asparagus recipe offers. It’s incredibly easy to make, requiring no knife or cutting board. Plus, clean-up consists of nothing more than tossing some aluminum foil into the trash or recycling bin. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
I make this recipe so frequently that it has become my go-to side dish whenever I use the oven. In fact, it’s practically foolproof. Well, almost foolproof. On Valentine’s Day, I made a simple mistake that led to a redo. But hey, even the best of us can have our mishaps in the kitchen, right?
The first clue that something had gone wrong was the bitter smell emanating from the oven when I pulled out the asparagus. Fresh asparagus should never smell bitter, so I knew it was overcooked. To my dismay, one touch confirmed my suspicion – it had turned into mush. Yet, this mishap served as a reminder that even the simplest recipes aren’t immune to failure.
Luckily, I had a delightful meal planned, featuring filet mignon with seared scallops. Since I hadn’t started cooking the scallops yet, I took a moment to let the steak rest while I swiftly remade the asparagus. And let me tell you, it was well worth it!
If you’ve never tasted raw asparagus, I highly recommend giving it a try. It’s remarkably crisp, bright, and slightly sweet. It doesn’t really require any dipping sauces, which is why it often makes an appearance on veggie trays in our household. However, cooking asparagus perfectly is an art in itself. You want it to be tender yet still retain its natural sweetness. Achieving this delicate balance is possible using a steamer for about 3 to 4 minutes, but then you’re stuck cleaning it afterward.
One lazy day, it struck me that baking asparagus is the way to go. It’s especially convenient when your oven is already in use. Just slide the asparagus in alongside whatever else you’re cooking, and you’re good to go. Once you try it, this oven asparagus recipe will have you finding excuses to bake all your dinner veggies.
I’ve experimented with baking asparagus at temperatures ranging from 350 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, adjusting the cooking time accordingly. What I’ve found is that 375 degrees Fahrenheit for a quick 8 minutes works best. Since we’re wrapping the asparagus in foil, it creates steam within the packet. And here’s a great tip: season the asparagus before baking, so it comes out ready to serve.
When preparing the asparagus, you can easily snap off the ends with your hands, usually about 4 to 5 at a time. By doing so, you remove the fibrous, chewy part that’s not particularly appetizing. Snap them right over the foil and toss the ends into the compost bin. Drizzle some olive oil – remember, healthy fats enhance nutrient absorption – sprinkle on salt and pepper, and finish with a generous helping of grated Parmesan cheese. If you prefer to grate your own Parmesan, like I do, you’ll have to wash your microplane. Trust me, it’s worth it for that extra burst of flavor.
When wrapping the foil, tent it slightly to allow steam to gather, as shown in the picture above. Bake for 8 minutes, let it rest for 1 minute, and voila! Your delicious asparagus is ready to be served.
No need to scrub any pans; simply discard the foil, and your clean-up is complete. This dish truly lives up to its name, being super easy, super simple, super healthy, and of course, super delicious.
So, what’s your favorite type of baked vegetables? Have you ever tried baking asparagus before? Let me know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to share it with your friends!