Stockton, California, is home to the asparagus festival. Why is this important? Because it's one of the places where you'll find deep-fried asparagus, asparagus-flavored ice cream, and so much more. But what is asparagus, and what's the best way to cook it? Learning how to cook asparagus in the oven or any other way isn't overly complicated.
Asparagus originally comes from Asia and North Africa. It also came from parts of Europe. Today, it's one of the most popular vegetables to cook and eat. It offers a ton of nutritional value and complements various dishes.
This guide uncovers everything you need to know about asparagus and what makes it delicious. We look at how to cook it in the oven and what foods to consider pairing it with. Overall, you'll have a better and more confident understanding of how to cook asparagus.
What Is Asparagus?
Recognized for its long and pointy spears, asparagus is a green vegetable known for a few things. One of the things that asparagus is famously known for its fantastic health benefits. You'll find that it has anti-inflammatory effects. It also has Vitamin C and E.
You'll find that it's best grown in freezing temperatures when growing asparagus. They are harvested when they are about 8 inches from the ground. One of the more unique things about asparagus is that it takes a few years to gather this vegetable. After planting seeds, it may take a few years to get asparagus fully grown and ready to eat. This is also why asparagus is one of the more expensive vegetables at the grocery store, considered a luxury vegetable.
What Does Asparagus Taste Like?
The taste of asparagus is somewhat earthy and sweet. It's not usually eaten raw because of its natural, earthy taste. It has a similar taste to architoke or green beans.
However, this taste can easily change depending on how you cook it. You'll find that grilling or cooking it in the oven with different spices helps give it additional flavor. The sweet flavor that comes from asparagus will eventually fade. The typical shelf life of asparagus, especially if you keep it in the fridge, is about 3 to 5 days.
How to Cook Asparagus In the Oven
While there are many ways to cook asparagus, one of the best ways is in the oven. Before you think about tossing asparagus on a tray and cooking them in the oven, there's a bit more to it.
Cooking asparagus in the oven requires seasoning and cooking it at a specific temperature for a particular time.
Step-By-Step Way to Cook Asparagus In the Oven
Here's one of the best recipes to follow when cooking asparagus.
- 1 bunch of trimmed asparagus spears
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)
- 3 clove garlic, minced (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
The first step is preheating your oven to 450 degrees. The next step is tossing your asparagus with olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt. This ensures your asparagus is covered with seasoning.
Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes. You can try one of the asparagus to see if it's still raw or cooked through.
What Foods Go Best With Asparagus?
While asparagus has tremendous health benefits and is a delicious vegetable, it's also not something you usually eat alone. Finding a suitable dish to complement it is essential if you want a more complete meal.
Here's a list of some of the best dishes to pair with oven-baked asparagus.
- Baked chicken thighs
- BBQ ribs
- Leek risotto
- Fried rice and chicken
- Mac and cheese
There are only some options to consider when making asparagus in the oven. You can also learn how to make asparagus on the grill or deep-frying it, especially if you're simultaneously grilling or deep-frying other foods.
If you want a lighter and healthier option, you can cut up your asparagus and enjoy it in a salad with other veggies. Add it to a Caesar or Cobb salad to give it more variety.
What Else Should You Know?
Cooking asparagus in the oven is about patience and knowing how you want to cook it. While the recipe in this guide offers some insight into one of the ways to cook it, there are also additional ways to consider. You can always make your asparagus spicier, add other vegetables to the mix, or bake it asparagus with a casserole.
Learning to cook asparagus in the oven gives you more recipe options. It allows you to get the health benefits from it. When you master the art of cooking asparagus, your entire cooking world opens up.Print
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Place asparagus and two tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring once; drain and cool.
In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, mushrooms, avocado, zucchini, tomato, and onion; toss gently.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well.
Pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Calories: 214
- Sodium: 195 mg
- Fat: 16 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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