One of the first vegetables of spring is asparagus. It’s one of the earliest ones to appear at farmers markets.
To get the best asparagus, look for firm, fresh, spears with closed, compact tips and uniform diameter, so that all spears will cook in the same amount of time. Larger diameter spears are more tender. (courtesy Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board)
Besides tasting good, asparagus boasts a nutritional bounty. According to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, “asparagus is the leading supplier among vegetables of folic acid. A 5.3 ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance for folacin which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease.”
You’ll also find it’s a good source of potassium, as well as fiber, folacin, thiamin, thiamin, vitamin B6 rutin and glutathione.
2 pounds fresh asparagus
Good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they’re thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender, but still crisp.