We stopped by the local grocery store after school yesterday in search of something green for St. Patrick's Day. I'm the very proud mom who was able to check out with, ... asparagus as our exciting green item for the holiday. This is one of the only vegetables that my boy will deign to eat, and the fact that he only eats the top half of each stalk bothers me not in the least.
I was especially impressed with the asparagus yesterday because it was both organic and grown in the United States. It seriously bugs me that fresh vegetables flown in from Peru are for sale and I refuse to buy them. Wait for the appropriate season and you'll be able to find better quality produce grown closer to home. This is a spring vegetable, so look for it in your stores now. Before you buy, check the tips to make sure that they are tightly closed and not mushy. The asparagus should be bright green and firm.
My Favorite Asparagus
One bunch fresh green asparagus
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees or preheat the broiler.
Wash the asparagus and pat it dry. Hold a stem halfway up the stalk in one hand and grasp the cut end with the other hand. Bend the stalk until the cut end snaps off. This will give you a guide to how much of the stem end to cut off. As you can see in the picture, I cut off about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of stem. This was discarded because it is tough. If you don't want to waste the stems, you can use them in a vegetable stock. Another option is to peel the asparagus stalks from about halfway down the stem with a vegetable peeler.
When the oven is hot, lightly oil a sheet pan with about one or two teaspoons of oil and spread the asparagus on it. Roll them around so that the oil is distributed. Place the pan in a hot oven or under the broiler. Wash the lemon and cut it in half. Pull out the pan after about 4 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven. Check again after 4 minutes. You are looking for a super duper bright green color and just a little sizzle around the edges of the pan. Do not overcook the veg, it should be a little crunchy. Serve hot.