Roasted Asparagus with Lemon
A wonderful sign of spring, asparagus is at its best between March and May. Choose spears with bright green stalks and purple-tinted tips. If you do not plan to cook the asparagus immediately, stand the spears upright in a pan filled with 1 inch of water and refrigerate. Peeling the ends of the asparagus stems is optional, although it makes for an attractive presentation. If you are using thick asparagus, peeling removes the tough outer part and makes the entire stalk more uniform to ensure even cooking.
- 2 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed and stems peeled
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.
Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic and lemon zest. Brush the asparagus evenly with the oil, turning the spears to coat well, and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the lemon wedges around the asparagus.
Roast until the asparagus is tender and just turning golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a warmed serving platter and drizzle with the pan juices. Serves 8.