Our review of Alton Brown's Roasted Asparagus from the Age of Asparagus episode of Good Eats.
Asparagus is one of the first green crops to hit the market each year.
People rush to pick up the first asparagus of the season. I use to not see the draw.
I thought that asparagus was disgusting. It had this bitter, awful flavor I have always hated.
It turned out that I wasn't having asparagus the right way. Asparagus that is boiled or comes from a can is awful. Fresh asparagus that is roasted to perfection, is a completely different thing.
Roasting has become my go-to method for cooking asparagus. The first recipe I ever tried was Alton Brown's Roasted Asparagus from Good Eats. That is what I am here to review today.
? When to Get the Best
For the best asparagus buy when in season. For more info on that read our post on When and How Long is Asparagus Season?
? Top Tips
The first thing you need to do is cut about 1 ½ inches off the bottom of the asparagus. The bottom is usually pretty fibrous. They are hard to chew even when cooked.
Alton cooked his asparagus in a tray made of foil made with 2 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil.
Don't throw those woody ends out. You can actually use them to make our Asparagus Ends Soup.
Alton adds nutmeg to the asparagus. This may seem like a strange thing. Most of the time nutmeg is used in sweet dishes like pies and applesauce. But actually the nutmeg adds a nice dimension of flavor to the asparagus.
Cooking the asparagus five minutes per side worked perfectly in my 500 degree oven. It came out soft enough to eat, but not mush. It also is perfectly caramelized. The tips were crispy like I like them.
Only downside of cooking at 500 degrees is that if your oven isn't clean you may get some smoke. So be careful when you open the oven door.
? More Recipes You Got to Try
Alton Brown's Roasted Asparagus
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon zest only
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
- Using two pieces of heavy duty aluminium foil make a pan that will fit all the asparagus in a single layer. Lay the asparagus down in the foil to get an accurate measurement
- Trim off the bottom 1 ½ inches of the asparagus. You can save the tips to make a broth for soup.
- Place the asparagus in a single layer on your pan. Add the oil.
- Place into the oven for 5 minutes.
- Toss the asparagus with tongs and then roast for another 5 minutes
- Remove from the oven. Add the salt, nutmeg, zest of 1 lemon.
- Toss to evenly distribute and serve.
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