Asparagus is a lovely spring vegetable that grows and thrives near coastal waters. Our asparagus here in the United States comes mainly from Sacramento California where it grows in the San Joaquin River Delta and also from Michigan and Washington. China happens to be the largest producer of this healthy vegetable and other areas that produce heavily are Peru and Mexico.
It has it origins from Ancient Egypt where it was used for medicinal purposes as a diuretic. White asparagus was originally cultivated in countries in Europe and I read they prefer the white over the green. Purple asparagus has not nearly the nutritional value of green and tends to be high in sugar content.
Asparagus is considered a power food due to the properties it contains. It is loaded with vitamins (A, C, B6, E and K) and contains essential nutrients like iron, potassium, copper, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine. This long stemmed beauty is part of the Lilly family and is high in fiber, it is low in carbohydrates and has no fat or cholesterol.
One of the things I am discovering as I try it, is that roasting vegetables (or baking as I referred to in my post title) brings out the best in the vegetables. The end result is the full flavor of the vegetable and you have not lost many of the nutrients like you would if you boiled them. The other day when I made a dinner with cod, baked potatoes and asparagus - everything was baked in the oven. I put the cod with herb crust and the asparagus in the oven at the same time. They took about 20 - 22 minutes to bake in the oven and each one came out perfectly.
- 1 bundle of asparagus
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- lemon juice (fresh)
- Lay your asparagus on a baking sheet. For easier clean up line with foil or parchment paper.
- I used Kosher salt and generously sprinkled the salt over the asparagus followed by hand grinding a good amount of black pepper on top.
- I than spritzed it all over with some freshly squeezed lemon juice followed by drizzles of olive oil
- Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20-22 minutes for the diameter asparagus I had. Bake for 5-7 minutes more for thicker asparagus and bake 5-7 minutes less for thin.
Our bundle was 1.03 pounds and would have been adequate for three average servings. And because of the sale price we paid $2.05! Check your store flyer to see what the price is because Baked Asparagus would be a lovely side vegetable to go with your ham, lamb or beef this holiday weekend.