Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Roasted Asparagus Conquered! Cooked and Eaten.

There is an ongoing discussion in my family on the proper way to cook and serve asparagus. It started recently with a dining experience in which my dad couldn't eat all the asparagus stem on the plate. His point was they, the chef, should cut off the part you can't eat. I suggested they perhaps left the stems longer as a presentation factor, long asparagus look nicer.

Now whenever possible my dad orders things with asparagus and reports back on the presentation and edibility. I think only once has someone prepared asparagus in such a way it could be completely eaten. When they say "clean you plate", my dad takes that literally, he wants to be able to eat everything...including the garnish!

So when I received asparagus in my Urban Acres co-op share this past week I chuckled. I couldn't remember ever cooking asparagus and I wondered if my preparation would meet my dads standards. (Of course anything I cook my dad will eat, he is just that kind of loving dad!)

I found a recipe for roasted asparagus in an Edibles Magazine I had picked up while at the DFW Farm Truck 5K race. Asparagus is my coop? Asparagus recipe? A sign I am suppose to try both! So here goes.

Today I decided to cook the asparagus. I find it difficult to know where to "break" asparagus. There is some magical sweet spot between edible and not. In preparing the asparagus one piece fell on the floor and part of the end snapped off. Huh, I think, that must be where it wanted to break off. I picked up both pieces, rinsed off the top and tossed the end part in the compost. Then I thought, maybe that is it, it naturally breaks where it needs to when it hits something. I take each stalk and gently hit it against the sink and whola! all the stalks break at different points but they all do clearly break off clean. Not sure if this is the right way to do it but it worked!

I combined the asparagus with all the ingredients and roasted per the recipe, sans the baking sheet. (I don't actually have a baking sheet per the instructions but a pizza stone worked perfectly, just use tongs to turn the asparagus.)
About to go into the oven

Roasted asparagus!

Happy to report all the cooked parts were edible, even the lemon. What a great tangy with the oregano and fennel! Asparagus is in season right now, pick some up and try this recipe, you won't be disappointed!

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