Photo credit Sharon Mollerus/Flickr
I always think it’s such a shame to see asparagus that’s been boiled into a soggy, drab green existence. It’s a tragic example of a perfectly lovely vegetable earning a bad reputation through no fault of its own. And so I’d like to suggest a different way of cooking this springtime wonder that will keep its dignity – and your appetite – intact.
- Fresh asparagus
- Olive oil
Place an oven rack on the topmost level of your oven, then preheat your boiler on its highest setting.
Using your hands, snap off the lowest section of each asparagus spear and discard. Rinse spears under cold water, then shake gently to remove most of the water. Line the spears up on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Then use a spatula or fork to move the spears around the baking sheet in order to distribute the oil and coat the spears evenly.
Keep bees and grow asparagus, Watch the tides and listen to the wind instead of the politicians, Make up your own stories and believe them if you want to live the good life.
Miriam Waddington, “Advice to the Young” from Driving Home: Poems New & Selected (1972)
Place the baking sheet under the broiler and cook the asparagus until it’s slightly blackened. Remove from oven, shake the pan to roll the asparagus and expose the uncooked half. Return to oven and continue cooking until slightly blackened. (I like to cook it until the tips of the spears are slightly crispy.) Serve hot, and enjoy!
Cooking times will vary depending on the diameter of the asparagus. Larger spears will cook a little slower; but no matter the size, the asparagus will cook quickly enough that it’s wise to stay in the kitchen while it’s under the broiler so you can catch it at just the right moment.
Refrigerate leftovers. The leftover spears will not be as crisp-tender, but they will still make a fine snack or a delicious addition to salads.