There are three things you should know about asparagus. One, it is totally acceptable to eat asparagus with your fingers. That’s right, ask Miss Manners. Two, you need to break off the woody end of the spear, located about 1/3 of the way down. Just grab the spear, with one hand on the middle and one hand on the end, and break. Voila. Three, asparagus were meant to be roasted.
Steamed asparagus are so often limp and dull in texture and flavor. But roasted asparagus, with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and lemon zest, are lively and full of complex flavor notes. The perfect roast asparagus is slightly browned on the outside, with a vibrant green color, and has just the slightest bit of bite when eaten. The best part? Roasted asparagus are ready in about 20 minutes.
1 bunch asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and break the ends off the asparagus. If your spears are large, you should also carefully peel the spears.
Arrange with plenty of space on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with zest and salt. Give the baking sheet a few shakes, and place into oven. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. Give the baking sheet a good shake halfway though. Asparagus are done when the edges are lightly browned, and the spears are a vivid green. Taste one to make sure it is cooked through–due to fluctuations in asparagus size, cooking times vary wildly.