This is the simplest way to cook asparagus that I know, and one of the best. If all your spears are the same thickness, they will cook more evenly, but I never worry about a bit of variation.
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- olive oil
Preheat the oven – you want it hot. The precise temperature doesn’t matter; I have used temps from 400˚F to 450˚ depending on what else I have going on in the kitchen.
Prep the asparagus: snap off stalks at the natural ‘bend’, keeping any tough ends for soup. Rinse the asparagus, and pat it dry on a clean kitchen towel. Spread it loosely on a rimmed baking sheet or tray (metal, Pyrex, or porcelain all work well). Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with coarse salt. Toss it lightly to distribute the oil and salt evenly.
Roast, uncovered, about 10 minutes, until the asparagus is just tender. Serve it hot, or if you prefer, cooled to room temperature.
Ideas for variation: serve with a pool of hollandaise sauce, with a poached egg and Parmesan, with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime, as part of an amazing plate of roasted vegetables, as a component in a salad, accompanying a cheese omelette … or just eaten as is.