There is no easier way to cook asparagus than to roast it—you’re just putting it in the oven and letting it do its thing.
Grilling is a close second in terms of ease, but you need to turn it and watch the flame, so roasting is, no question, the easier option. Roasting also tames the grassier herbal flavor of asparagus and brings out a deeper, earthier, more savory edge. See how to make utterly simple roasted asparagus below—then scroll down to find lots of ways to jazz it up.
- 1 bunch about 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Lemon wedges or other optional toppings
- Heat an oven to 400°F. While the oven heats, prepare the asparagus: you can either break off the tough ends where they naturally snap by grabbing both ends of an asparagus spear and bending it until it breaks; or, for a more elegant presentation, trim off about 1/2 inch from the end of each spear and use a vegetable peeler to peel about halfway up the spear.
- Arrange the asparagus spears in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Whatever vessel you choose, make sure the asparagus isn’t crowded so there’s plenty of room for the hot air to circulate and brown the asparagus.
- Drizzle the asparagus with the oil, toss to coat it, and spread the asparagus back into a single layer. Sprinkle with the salt and bake until the asparagus is tender and starting to brown on its tips, about 15 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with a spritz of lemon juice or any of the other optional toppings.