Asparagus is perfect this time of year. In the past, I’ve always made it the same way – roasted on high heat and served with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Although this method is delicious, I wanted to try something new.
Ever since making this meal, I’ve fallen in love with the combination of lemon and crushed red pepper flakes. I thought it might be a nice complement to asparagus and add a bit of freshness.
The citrus of the lemon and heat from the red pepper make this quick side dish flavorful. Pretty enough to serve for friends, it comes together in 15 minutes or less. Not too shabby for a weeknight meal.
Asparagus with Lemon and Heat
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tbsp. evoo divided
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
Coarsely ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats, rinse the asparagus and trim them. Start by bending one spear to see where it naturally breaks. Then, use this piece as a guide to trim the rest. Or, snap each one individually. It’s up to you.
Next, place the spears on a baking sheet and drizzle with evoo. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss together with your hands and spread evenly on the pan. Roast for 10 minutes.
While the asparagus is in the oven, zest half a lemon in bowl. Then, add the remaining evoo (about 1/2 tbsp.) and the juice from half of a lemon. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and stir together.
When the asparagus is done pull it out of the oven and chop it into long pieces. I cut ours in half, since they were pretty short. Toss the hot spears in the lemon mixture. Season with black pepper and salt to taste.