Roasted Asparagus

There’s almost no way to improve the flavor of spring’s fresh, in-season asparagus. Simply steamed, drizzled with some good olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper, it is near perfection with little adornment.

When you take those same basic ingredients and throw them together in a hot oven, something even more magical happens. The Roasted Asparagus takes on a slight caramelization, adding richness to the flavor. This is one place where using good, flaked sea salt makes a lot of difference. The crunch of the salt is the perfect accent to the sublime asparagus. Here, I’ve also added hint of thyme for more flavor.

If there’s no room in the oven, the asparagus can be pan roasted in a large skillet. Just heat the skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and asparagus and cook, without turning, for about 5 minutes. Turn the asparagus, sprinkle with the salt, pepper and thyme and cook another 5 minutes, until the asparagus begins to brown and caramelize.

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Flaked sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place asparagus on a foil or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and thyme. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears, until browned and tender-crisp.

Makes 6 servings.