Takes some courage to promise a “perfect” recipe. And honestly, if this technique had failed me once, I would have admitted that. However…I’ve been using this temperature and timing recipe for fresh asparagus for years and I can say without equivocation: IT HAS NEVER FAILED. Not once.
In the infancy of my interest in cooking, asparagus was a continual source of frustration. My tried and true “blanch and shock” technique failed on almost every occasion. Most often resulting in limp, soggy spears, virtually tasteless. Stir frying produced slightly better results, although seemed to work best for very thin spears. No one technique seemed “just right.”
But then I discovered 500°/5 and my asparagus-cooking life was forever changed. It is ridiculously simple. Only four basic ingredients: asparagus, olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to jazz it up with some lemon pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice after cooking. And if you’re so inclined to “guild the lily,” sprinkle your roasted asparagus with crumbled goat cheese and bacon. My preferences always lean towards the simple. And that’s the beauty: master the basic technique, then make it your own. Isn’t this is what cooking is all about?
Perfect Roasted Asparagus: 500°/5 Minute Master Recipe
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, trimmed (see Note>)
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse ground black pepper
Non-Stick Aluminum Foil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 500°. Line a sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil or brush lightly with olive oil.
- Place asparagus onto foil in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Roast in oven for 5 minutes only! Remove immediately. Add any additional seasonings or toppings and serve.
Note> Medium asparagus stalks work best for this technique. Thicker stalks may be peeled, using a vegetable peeler, to make them more uniform. Super thin stalks should be cooked for only 4 minutes (and really…save the ultra thin ones for a quick stir-fry).