plain and simple

My mom often says, "simple is best." And as a teenager, I remember being a little annoyed with her mantras that she would enthusiastically repeat, but this one I agree with.
And though when it comes to my kitchen equipment addiction I may not be the poster child of simplicity, when it comes to the cooking itself, I try to emulate this idea. I really believe in appreciating the flavors of each ingredient. I had a new friend over for dinner tonight, and she paid me the highest compliment I've ever received--or desired to receive. She took a bite and said she's never eaten spaghetti and meatballs with so much flavor. Now, I promise you I don't have the best spaghetti and meatballs recipe out there. No way I can out-cook a real Italian grandma. Not even close. But she got exactly what my passion for food is all about. Flavor. REAL flavor. And it was really exciting to have someone get my food philosophy in one bite.
So I was inspired to share with you my absolute favorite way to cook asparagus. It makes the asparagus taste like ... asparagus! No hiding or altering or adding. I want to highlight that grassy, earthy, almost bitter but somehow sweet, complex flavor that only asparagus has. And I think the best way to do that is by roasting it. And the ingredient list is short. Asparagus, good quality olive oil, salt and pepper. And if you've never tried it, it'll change your life.

Roasted Asparagus
2 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Hold one spear of asparagus by the end and about the middle and bend it until it snaps. Cut all spears about the length that it naturally broke at. Peel the bottom inch or so.
  3. Place the trimmed and peeled asparagus spears on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until tips are crisp and stalks are browned. Serve warm.


Emily said...

Yep, my favorite summer vegetable. Mmm, now I'm craving roasted asparagus...delish

Indiana Haffners said...

Roasted definitely made for a great flavor! Very good!