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The Trick for Making Roasted Asparagus Taste Like a Restaurant's

Banish limp asparagus from your kitchen, starting now.

<p>robynmac/Getty</p>

robynmac/Getty

It’s finally the season for asparagus, and we’re ready for months of the fresh, tender vegetable gracing our plates whether we’re out to dinner or at home. When you cook asparagus right, the stalks still hold their shape. But overcooking it results in limp, stringy strands.

While you can certainly steam or boil asparagus and get perfect crisp-tender stalks, to get a restaurant-worthy side, you’ve got to roast them.

How to Make the Best Roasted Asparagus

Oven-roasted asparagus is a classic side dish, and a few simple tricks can take it from an afterthought on the plate to the main attraction.

First, do your best to select asparagus that’s green all the way from top to bottom. The white, woody end of some asparagus is very fibrous. While you can (and should!) cut off the ends of your asparagus, stalks with white ends are likely to be more fibrous throughout, meaning stringy asparagus for you.

Once you’ve got your asparagus and trimmed the ends, there are a few small—but important—factors in determining how well your asparagus will cook: the amount of oil you use, pan crowding, and temperature.

<p>Cavan Images/Getty</p>

Cavan Images/Getty

  1. Don’t overdo the oil. Using too much oil on the delicate stalks will make them greasy. Using a smaller amount will contribute to flavor and help the stalks crisp up without overwhelming them.

  2. Don't overcrowd. Separating asparagus stalks on your baking sheet so they aren’t overlapping is important because if your asparagus is overcrowded, it will steam and prevent the stalks from getting brown and crispy.

  3. Use a high temp. Cooking the asparagus at a high temperature (we’re talking 425 degrees F or higher) will promote the browning that creates a more complex flavor. You can even broil your asparagus. Just be sure to keep an eye on it in the oven. Roasting at 425 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or broiling for 5-7 minutes is a relatively safe bet, but the size of your stalks may bring that time up or down slightly. Stalks should be just tender, not overcooked (overcooked asparagus will be limp and stringy.)

Once you have the basic techniques for cooking perfect roasted asparagus every time, you can play with flavor. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and finish them with a squeeze of lemon for a simple, bright preparation, or cover them in cheesy, nutty grated Parmesan before baking to make them extra crispy and flavorful.

Commenters on this simple but effective recipe said that it is the “only way we will be eating asparagus now,” and that they, “didn’t know it could taste so good!” Another member said, “I have never cared for Asparagus. They always taste bland and seem like a pointless addition to the meal… But this recipe as simple as it is, changed my entire view of this veggie. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!”

What to Serve with Roasted Asparagus

Roasted asparagus is a versatile side dish that is a great accompaniment to many entrées. It's simple to pull together, making it perfect alongside a more labor-intensive main dish. Asparagus is a classic side served with steak (cook the asparagus while your meat rests so everything's ready at once), and it works equally well with various fish dishes and chicken.

Read the original article on All Recipes.