Springtime Roasted Asparagus

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Roasted Spring Asparagus

2 pounds (usually 2 bunches) of asparagus, ends snapped off, rinsed well and dried off
2-3 Tablespoons fruity olive oil
3/4-1 teaspoon Kosher salt. (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, about 18 grinds from a pepper mill, or to taste

Make the asparagus:
        Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
        Put the asparagus on the rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle all over with the oil. Toss them to coat. Evenly sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast until tender, and beginning to brown at the edges. Depending on the thickness of the spears, this could be anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Test with a fork to see if they are tender.

Serves 3-4.    YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Get the freshest you can find. The spears should look plump, bright green and the tops dry, not slimy.
2. The best way to prep the asparagus is to hold one end near the stem and the other near the middle of the stalk, and bend it until it snaps. It may look like you’re throwing away a lot of the stalk, but what you are actually doing is finding the natural place where the toughness ends. Cutting off or peeling the ends will not guarantee that you’ve eliminated that woody, inedible part. If you’re worried about wasting the stems, you can freeze them and save them for vegetable stock.
3. The roasting time is very subjective. You can roast them for less time and keep them crisp tender, or roast for the whole time and go for alot of caramelization. Test with a fork to see if they’re tender, and then from there it’s up to you.