Several years ago my SO decided to try roasting asparagus in the oven, instead of steaming it as we had always done in the past (probably inspired by Joy of Cooking). We added a little garlic and olive oil for flavor, and soon discovered that we had a new favorite way of preparing asparagus. The garlic pieces crisp up and take on a wonderful flavor, accentuating the natural flavors of the asparagus.
Our local vegetable market recently had asparagus on sale, so we picked up a few pounds and roasted some for dinner, making this a good end-of-the-week recipe blogging post.
1 pound asparagus, rinsed and patted dry
3-4 cloves garlic, pressed with a garlic press or finely minced
~2 tablespoons olive oil
~3/8 teaspoon salt
~1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
0. Preheat the oven to 500F.
1. Snap off and discard the tough ends of the asparagus. Arrange the spears in a single layer in a shallow baking dish (we use a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil).
2. Mix the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small dish or cup.
3. Brush the olive oil mixture onto the asparagus, distributing the garlic pieces across the vegetables.
4. Put the asparagus in the oven and roast until the spears are tender and the tips are getting crispy, approximately 8 minutes (be careful of overcooking, as the garlic can burn).
Having some fresh bread on hand can be a good way to soak up any leftover oil and garlic on your plate or in the pan.
The proportions of ingredients in the olive oil mixture are flexible; vary them to your taste. This dish can produce a lot of smoke in the normal course of roasting, so be prepared for that (though we've never had it burn, even when smoking a lot).