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Learn to Cook: Roasted Asparagus

Enjoy the vibrant flavor of spring – and savings – with one of the season’s favorite side dishes: roasted asparagus. When you buy asparagus in season and cook it at home, you’ll not only get a delicious springtime dish but you’ll save some green along with it. Roasting is an easy technique that intensifies the flavors of vegetables. The super-simple Roasted Asparagus recipe, featured in the March/April issue of The Whole Deal value guide, is a great one to master because roasting not only works well with asparagus but it’s also tops for sliced root vegetables, onions, and even broccoli. This basic recipe, serves four for about $1.26 per serving. You can easily double the recipe for company, so long as the asparagus isn’t crowded in the roasting pan. Substitute organic asparagus and citrus for only about 35¢ more per serving. Keep in mind, we do our best to estimate the cost of ingredients but slight variations are possible. What do I need? 1 (1 lb) bunch asparagus Juice of ½ orange or 1 TB balsamic vinegar ¼ tsp ground black pepper 2 TB chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme and mint Okay, let’s do this thing!
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Trim off the tough end from each stalk of asparagus (about the last 1½ inches or so) and arrange spears on baking sheet.
  3. Squeeze orange or drizzle vinegar over asparagus, toss to coat and season with pepper.
  4. Roast, shaking the baking sheet occasionally, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, watching carefully after 5 minutes to avoid overcooking.
  5. Transfer to a platter, scatter herbs over the top and serve.
  • For even cooking, choose similarly sized asparagus stalks.
  • Try lime, grapefruit, Meyer lemon or blood orange juice instead.
  • Toss ½ to 1 tsp of curry powder with the asparagus before roasting.
  • Splash roasted asparagus with sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar.
  • Toss roasted asparagus with fresh orange zest or lemon zest.
Roasted asparagus is definitely delightful on it’s own, but you can also dress it up with these fancy ideas, at not-so-fancy prices: Enjoy these good “cents” ideas and learn more budget-friendly tips that will keep a spring in your step and money in your pocket with the March/April issue of The Whole Deal!

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kay martin says …

I really enjoy your stores. I am looking forward to supping at your HUGE store on So. Wadsworth, Lakewood instead of my 'normal' eateries-out. This helps as my friend purchased too much asp. and has run out of ideas. I really can't afford many of your items, but I do what I can to help keep you in roaring business. Thank you. Denver CO

courses in cooking says …

I love it when my mum cook it this ways. It is one of my favorite, so crunchy and very healthy!

Dana says …

If you love the taste of asparagus (I do), just drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper before roasting. Is it better to roast at a higher temperature (450) for 8 to 10 minutes or a lower temperature (350) for 20 minutes?

Bepkom says …

@Dana: Asparagus contains quite a bit of water which evaporates and steams it under the heat. 20 minutes sounds a bit long regardless of the method you're using......unless, of course, you prefer your asparagus softer. Thanks for your question!

Leslie says …

How do I print this out? It won't let me copy and paste either.

Pam says …

Your better off not cutting Asparagus to get the tough part off. They will break where the tough part is automaticly if you just bend them......

Kate says …

I love these roasting ideas. You might also try an asparagus slaw, or asparagus quinoa main dish. http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2011/03/learn-to-cook-roasted-asparagus/

Dana says …

Thanks Michael - I think I'll stick with the quicker cooking time.

kristen says …

I can't remember where I read this, but I thought it was great advice for getting kids to eat asparagus~ let them play with the spears like they are, well, spears! My boys can't believe I let them make their food into a weapon.

Bepkom says …

@Leslie: Just hit the 'print' button at the top of your browser. It should automatically reformat into a version that's printable.

Pamela Bensley says …

Wrap the spears with slivers of salmon and then roast, we have had this in a Japanese restaurnat and they are delicious.

PoleGem says …