Asparagus is at it's peak, so make this soon!
by Lindsay Evans
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We can't get enough of asparagus at this time of year. Its bright green, purple and even white stalks grace the shelves at every farmer's market and grocery store. And for good reason, aspargus is not only seriously delicious, but it's one of the easiest and quickest veggies to prep and cook too. Simply rinse fresh asparagus spears—they should be plump, firm and free of any bruising—under cool running water and pat very dry with clean paper towels. Next remove the woody ends, which can be done either holding the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bending until it naturally snaps off (an oddly satisfying experience), or by chopping the woody ends off using a sharp knife. Then simply spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, red chili flakes (if you like a hit of spice) and lemon zest. We also like to lay whole lemon slices over top of the asparagus, which not only adds even more bright citrus flavour to the asparagus, but yields gloriously caramelized lemon slices to boot. Finally, roast in a hot oven for 8-15 minutes and you've got the perfect spring side dish.
2 bunches fresh asparagus
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp flaked sea salt
Pinch red chilli flakes
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Trim woody ends of asparagus, either by holding the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger, and bending until it naturally breaks off, or by chopping the woody ends off using a sharp knife.
Lay asparagus in an even layer over prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, chili flakes and lemon zest. Gently toss the asparagus to evenly coat, then spread again in an even layer (this will ensure your asparagus roasts and does not steam in the oven). Lay lemon slices over top of asparagus.
Transfer baking sheet to top rack of oven and roast for 8-15 minutes. The roasting time will depend on the thickness of your spears and your tastes. 8 minutes will give you spears that are crisp and just barely cooked through and 15 minutes will yield more tender and caramelized spears.