Sunday, May 13, 2012

Crispy-Soft Roasted Asparagus

So, I'm a picky eater. I am. I hate that I am a picky eater. I really, really do. I have been a picky eater all my life. We now know that a lot of my picky eating comes from Sjogren's syndrome. Anytime I find any veggie I really enjoy, I make it as often as I can so that I can get all those wonderful nutrients.

This veggie is one I not only enjoy, it is super easy to make. The spears are almost like chips. They crunch! The stems are roasted softness. I love these, their taste, and their texture. There never seem to be enough of them.

I must have been in a hurry when I wrote this recipe card. It looks a hot mess!

In order for them to be crispy and soft, here are my grocery store instructions: When you buy asparagus, buy the skinniest asparagus you can find! Asparagus is sold in 1 lb trays like this at my grocery store, but sometimes they are sold in little banded bundles. This was the skinniest bunch I could find!


Step One: Break off the woody ends of each asparagus. You don't have to break them one at a time. Just get a small handfull of asparagus, and break them all at once. Hold the asparagus by the back end and near the middle. Bend until all break at their breaking point. They naturally break between the good, tender part and the woody part.
Side note: That's my grandmother's apron I'm wearing in that shot!

Here is a close up of the asparagus bend-to-break process. I usually hold about ten at a time instead of two or three like pictured here.

 





Just to give you an idea - These are all of the woody ends from my asparagus. I usually just throw that part away. Some people make amazing things from those woody ends, though. There is a bookstore here in Athens that used to make awesome cream of asparagus soup from woody asparagus ends. I'm not sure if they still do, though, but I imagine they cook them forever to get them soft.


Put the spears in the bottom of a roasting pan. You won't need the top part of your roasting pan. I have tried cooking the asparagus on different surfaces (casserole dish, cookie sheet, etc.), and the roasting pan seems to do the trick the best.

...and of course, mine is foil-lined. Just say no to dishes.


Toss the spears with oil and salt with your fingers until they are coated. The amount of salt will depend on the kind of salt you use...and how much you like salt :).
Lay the spears with the spear points pointing out.
Roast in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes...

 

...or until they look like this!




 


Here's a close up so you can see how crispy-chrunchity the spear tips look. The spears are chrunchy like chips, and the stems are squishy-soft. It is like super-flavor textureville in your mouth. Good stuff. Good, good stuff.

Often, I will make the asparagus before something else that has to cook at a different temperature. I just pop the asparagus back in the oven for 3-5 minutes to heat them back up, and they still come out perfect every time.


 


Crispy-Soft Roasted Asparagus
1 1b asparagus spears
2 T olive oil
1/2-1 t. salt
Break the woody ends off each of the asparagus. Place the spears in a roasting pan, and toss with oil and salt to coat. Spread the spears evenly in the pan with the spears facing out. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
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1 comment:

  1. Have you anytime eaten a goulash with craven that has no taste? All you can anticipate is, "Man, this goulash would be alarming if the craven didn't aftertaste like plastic." Here is a big tip about meat in general: Even admitting not every compound tells you to division the meat in the compound with salt, at the actual least, you are accepted to division meat every time. Every time. As Emeril says, "Where I buy my meat, it don't appear seasoned."
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