Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baked Asparagus with Sea Salt and Lime

If you're anything like me, then you probably have some fall back side dishes that don't really taste that great but never get an upgrade because they're quick and easy and comfortable. Asparagus has been one of those side dishes for me - I always prepared it in one of two ways: steamed, or baked with lemon slices...adventurous, I know.

As you may have guessed, I recently upgraded my lowly side dish and wanted to share. Purely by improvisation I used lime juice instead of lemon slices one night when I forgot to pick up lemons at the store (see, being forgetful can have its good points!). And bingo-bango: I had a yummy new side dish! Honestly, I really can't believe what a big difference this small change made.


Getting Started


There really isn't much to this recipe, which is why I love it. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, then prepare the asparagus by washing and snapping off the tough parts at the end. If you are unfamiliar with how to do this, simply hold one end of the asparagus stalk in each hand and bend until it snaps at its natural weak point. If the stalks are pretty thick, I will hold it at the bottom with one hand and closer to the middle with the other; then I check to make sure the snapped ends aren't dry. (see here for more info)

Next, dry off the asparagus spears and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt (or coarse salt), and toss them around to make sure they are evenly coated. Re-arrange them so they are not overlapping, then squeeze the lime juice over the top and bake for 12 minutes. If your lime is really juicy, 1/2 of the lime should do. If you have a really dry lime, like I did, use the whole thing.

Wrapping it Up


The really great part about this recipe is that once it's in the oven, you don't have to do anything to it. You can go about your other preparations without worrying about burnt asparagus spears. They always come out perfectly golden and yummy!

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1lb)
1 lime
Sea or coarse salt
Olive oil for drizzling



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