Spring has sprung, or at least, it’s springing. But after a long, cold and especially snowy winter locked in our homes, we’re just chomping at the bit to cook fresh springtime meals again. Sure, we had plenty of citrus recipes and hearty winter salads to get us through the first couple months of 2021, but we’re ready to embrace peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, ramps and the king of springtime produce: asparagus.
There are some exceptionally easy ways to cook asparagus. If you want to learn how to roast asparagus, all you need to do is snap off the woody bottoms, toss the stalks in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and then season them generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then, roast in the oven at 425 for 12 to 15 minutes. You’ll know the asparagus is done when it’s a darker shade of green and a fork easily pierces the veggie. You can also roast asparagus in the air fryer with that same seasoning combo at 390 for about 10 minutes.
If you want to get a little more creative with your springtime asparagus, you can make this zesty balsamic marinated asparagus recipe.
This cooking method is super easy but does take some hands-off time — about eight to 24 hours — so make sure you start your prep work long before you’re hungry. You need to blanch the asparagus before marinating it, too, so do that while prepping your zesty combination of balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic, lemon and spices.
After a little time in the fridge, the resulting asparagus still has a fresh bite to it but with an unbeatable flavor that will go wonderfully with any protein. And if you want more inspiration for what else to cook in the next few months, check out our guide to spring produce.
Step 1: In a large skillet, bring 2-3 inches of salted water to a boil. Place 1 pound trimmed asparagus in the water, simmer gently for 4-5 minutes until the asparagus just begins to become tender. Remove asparagus from skillet and arrange in a 9x13 glass dish.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine juice from one lemon, 3 cloves minced garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon sugar. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk until well-mixed.
Step 3: Pour marinade over the warm asparagus. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
Step 4: Remove from refrigerator 20 minutes before serving, as asparagus is best when served at room temperature. Enjoy!