How to Cook Asparagus (+6 Drool-Worthy Recipes) April 12, 2017
100 Days of Happy Cooks is in full swing, and today, we’re talking asparagus. Whether you’re a fan of roasting, grilling, boiling, sautéing, or straight up eating this snappy spring veggie raw, we’ve got you covered.
Hey there, spring! Long time no see. We’re so happy you’ve decided to finally pay us a visit and bring along extra flavorful asparagus. We already established our love for this springtime gem and all the ways it can make us happy, but now it’s time to really get down to business. And by business, we mean cooking. And by cooking, we mean fun.
How to cook asparagus in the oven
A classic and healthy roasted asparagus never disappoints. Plus, it’s one of those “set it and forget it” kind of recipes that allows you ample time to focus on other kitchen tasks (and non-kitchen tasks, like the dog barking and phone ringing).
1. Quick and Easy Roasted Asparagus
- 1 Pound Asparagus
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Snap off dry ends of asparagus.
- Spread asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast until asparagus ends are crispy, 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
If you’re looking to showcase asparagus as more than just a side but are still in the mood to use your oven, we suggest a tart or omelette. In a rare feat of versatility, these recipes work for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.
2. Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
Tart, galette, savory pie… call it what you may, this cheesy asparagus concoction is sure to please.
- 1 Sheet Puff Pastry
- 1 Pound Asparagus, trimmed
- 3/4 Cup Gruyère Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
- 3 Eggs (optional)
- 2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
- 1 Lemon, zested
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put a pot of water to boil for asparagus.
- Roll thawed puff pastry onto lined baking sheet, using a rolling pin to shape it into a rectangle.
- Use a knife to score a 1/2-inch border, but be sure to not cut all the way through. Prick the inside of the rectangle with a fork.
- Bake puff pastry 8-10 minutes.
- While pastry bakes, soften asparagus by placing them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove puff pastry from oven and add cheese. Lay asparagus on cheese and add garlic.
- If using eggs, carefully crack them over top, making sure not to break yolks.
- Place back in oven and bake another 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle over lemon zest before serving.
Alright, alright… this frittata/omelette is technically prepared on the stove and in the oven, but we snuck it in the oven category ’cause that’s where most of the magic happens.
- 2 Cups Thinly Sliced Asparagus
- 6 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Packed Basil Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Packed Parsley Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Butter (or 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut asparagus into thirds.
- Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Mix in herbs, goat cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Heat butter or oil in ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook until beginning to soften, 2-4 minutes. Add egg mixture and stir to combine.
- Cook until egg mixture is set around edges but still wet in the center, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven and cook until frittata is set in the center, 12-15 minutes.
And one more roasted asparagus recipe… because we just couldn’t resist.
Of all the reasons why this dish makes us smile, these are the top three:
- Tender salmon is chock-full of healthy fats.
- Honey and mustard are a sweet and tangy match made in heaven.
- The asparagus reaches tender, golden perfection in exactly the amount of time it takes for the salmon to cook through on the same baking sheet.
Talk about a trifecta.
How to cook asparagus on the grill
Grilling asparagus couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is snap off the ends, heat up your grill to somewhere between 350 and 450ºF, lightly coat the veggies with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill 5-8 minutes. Seriously, it’s that easy. Just be sure to place the spears down across the grates so they don’t fall through.
How to boil/blanch asparagus
The secret to crisp-tender and stunningly bright green asparagus is to blanch the spears. Submerge them in boiling water for 2-4 minutes before transferring to ice water. To test out your blanching skills, whip up this creamy, dreamy risotto.
One of our favorite things about risottos is that they can breathe new life into otherwise ordinary ingredients like shrimp and asparagus. In any other context, this duo might seem like the start of a crisp salad or stir-fry, but when folded into the oozy grains they become cozy, warm, and tender.
How to sauté asparagus in a pan
The trick for the perfect sauté is to get your fat (butter, oil, etc) very hot before cooking any aromatics (onions, garlic, etc) and adding asparagus. 8-10 minutes is all it takes for the spears to get tender and ever-so-slightly charred. Case in point…
Romesco sauce is one of Spain’s many great culinary gifts to the world. It features two distinctly Spanish flavors—sherry vinegar and smoked paprika—yet it’s versatile and pairs well with most meats and vegetables, like asparagus. The charred veggie and herbed couscous complete the breezy Mediterranean theme.
For more green recipes (think cupcakes with avocado frosting, Brussels sprouts soup, and spinach coconut bowls), head here. You’ll never think about vegetables the same way again.