Asparagus season in Northern California hasn’t started yet, although it will be soon. With unseasonably warm weather in January everything is a few weeks ahead. The asparagus below came from Argentinia and buying it is totally against my politics. But, I was craving it. It looked amazing, not like the asparagus you usually see this time of year in the grocery store. At first, I thought it came from a local grower. The ends were fresh looking, the stalks were snappy and of a good size, the heads sere still closed…my barriers came down.
In my book the two best ways to cook asparagus are roasting in a hot oven. and grilling them. For grilling either a BBQ or stove top grill pan works well. Of course you can also stir fry them with other ingredients (also excellent), but I am writing today about the way to bring out the very best asparagus flavor which is uncluttered by other ingredients.
- 1 – 2 bunches of fresh asparagus, tops closed, snappy and medium thickness
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1 lemon (to grate the rind)
- freshly grated parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Wash the asparagus by swishing the stalks in a pan of water
- Snap off the bottom woody part, this should happen naturally if you bend the stalk
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper
- Lay the asparagus in the pan in one layer, drizzle with olive oil and turn to coat, sprinkle the stalks with salt
- Bake for 15 minutes until done to your liking (start checking at 12 minutes), we like ours still crisp but beginning to char and soften at the tops.
- Remove from the oven and grate the rind of a lemon over the asparagus, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.