A decadent solo supper: Roasted Asparagus

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Local asparagus – worthy of becoming a meal in itself

Asparagus is very much in season at the moment in New Zealand with signs hanging by the roadside offering freshly picked spears of this gloriously upright vegetable and quantities of it available in greengrocers. Despite the plenty, I must admit that the Boyfriend and I have been slow off the mark this year and have only had a couple of feeds of it – so far. We need to hurry up and feast before the season ends.

Our favourite way of preparing asparagus is to simply roast the slim spears with butter and parmesan until it tastes good. When I saw the my first bunch of the season at the Saturday market in English Park, its fate was sealed. It was during a weekend when the Boyfriend was at a conference and I had that purchase earmarked for a decadent solo supper. A loaf of ciabatta from the organic vegetable stall and I was all set.

That night I luxuriated in, for once, having an abundance of asparagus to eat. Not having to share was definitely an advantage! I used the ciabatta as a scoop for all the buttery juices, rendering cutlery obsolete. Fingers were definitely made before forks for this dish. Matched with an assertive Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, my Roasted Asparagus had a short, but delicious life. This is such an effortless dish I’ve not bothered to give measurements in the recipe below. You alone will be the best judge of how much parmesan and butter you would like – but it is difficult to have too much.

Roasted Asparagus
Asparagus
Butter
Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Trim the ends of the asparagus spears by bending them and they will break naturally at the point where they become tender. Place into an oven-proof dish where there is enough space for all the asparagus to lie flat.

Dot with butter and grate a little parmesan over. Place in the oven. Check after 5 minutes and, using a vegetable peeler, cut some thin slices of parmesan to lay on the spears. Roast for about 8-10 minutes in total until tender.

Serve with some soft ciabatta or focaccia to mop up the parmesan butter and a good glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Serves 1.

Caroline

Caroline

Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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5 Responses

  1. Barbara says:

    Sounds fabulous. We had asparagus last night too. I chopped the spears into 2 inch pieces and stir fried them with sliced onions and a little oil in the pan then had a touch of water to provide a little steam to finish them off. The heads were added at the end with the water.

  2. Caroline says:

    That sounds yummy too, Barbara. I’ve just never managed to get beyond the Roasted Asparagus – it’s just too damn good! Although, with the rate prices of asparagus are dropping around here, I might get a chance to use it in a few more ways. What did you serve your stir-fried asparagus with?

  3. Barbara says:

    A salmon (actually half as it was so big)wrapped in foil and baked in the oven. Not a match I was entirely happy with.

  4. Caroline says:

    How come you weren’t happy with the asparagus/salmon combination? I would have though that they would be a really good match. Although it says much for my budget that I’ve never managed to have them in the house together!

  5. Barbara says:

    I think adding the onion to the asparagus turned it into a match for red meat. The asparagus on its own with the salmon would have been fine. Or if the salmon had been cooked on top of the stove it might have been better. The salmon baked in the foil has a melt in the mouth texture that didn’t fit with the strength of the onion.

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