I LOVE asparagus, and so does Rich… now.
It took some experimentation on my part; we’ve discovered that Rich is much fonder of spears that have been peeled – which is not really all that big a deal, a few zips with a veggie peeler down each stalk and you’re good to go. Then, spears properly pared, the question became; how to cook them?
I have the wicked cool stove-top pot, which is very nice, I’ve grilled them, also good, and other methods – but THIS, is the way to go.
•1 lb asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
•Sea salt and black pepper
•Aleppo pepper (optional)
Heat your oven to 425º.
Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus (don’t believe that old saw about ‘snapping’ the stalks to determine which bits are good and which are tough; all you’ll do is waste a lot of perfectly good asparagus). You can peel the stalks if you like, but it’s fine if you don’t. I give my stalks four zips with the peeler – leaving striped stalks.
Pour about 1.3 cup of good olive oil in a rimmed baking dish, then add the prepared asparagus stalks.
Roll them in the oil to coat evenly, then season with sea salt and good black pepper – I’ve been known to also add a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper, which I think adds a nice flavor.
Pop the asparagus into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is still this lovely, bright green, but tender.
Serve. A squeeze of fresh lemon is nice, but you really don’t need it.
Best. Asparagus. EVER.
Try it and see if you don’t agree.