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Roasted Asparagus with Chili Oil and Lemon

Roasted Asparagus Video (scroll down for recipe)

Roasting, if you are unawares, is most likely the best thing you can do to any vegetable. Asparagus takes particularly well to this treatment. Once roasted, it becomes sweet and juicy with a good, toothsome texture. I’m not really sure what toothsome means, but it makes me think of saber-toothed tigers and thereby warms my heart with the excitement of getting mauled.

Anyways.

When you’re looking to buy asparagus, check the tips. They should be firm and tight, not soft or wet-looking, and the little “scales” should be tightly closed, not flopping all open for the world to see underneath their skivvies. The diameter of the stalks – thick or thin, fat or not – matters little. I prefer the thicker stalks because they hold up better to roasting and sauces, and I think they taste better. You may like the skinny ones because they are cuter and that is okay with me. You buy whatever size asparagus stalks you like.

Roasted Asparagus

To prep them, all you need to do is rinse them off and remove the bottoms which may be tough. Snap them off individually or snap one off and then use that to approximate where the others need to be trimmed and chop them off with a knife, which is how I do it.  Fast and violent. Like a saber-toothed tiger.

Here’s what you need to roast 2 pounds of asparagus, which will feed 4 people and probably give you a little leftover to put in your frittata tomorrow. If you don’t want it spicy, just use some olive oil or vegetable oil in place of the chili oil. No problemo.

roasted asparagus recipe with chili oil and lemon

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Roasted Asparagus with Chili Oil and Lemon

  • Yield: 4-6 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F
  2. Wash and trim the asparagus and toss with the oil.
  3. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the parmesan now if you like.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the stalks, shaking the pan after about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with lemon zest and juice to taste.
  7. Serve now or let cool and serve at room temperature.

 

28 Comments

  1. Jonathan on March 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Instead of the lemon, I also drizzle on some balsamic vinegar before cooking and that adds a nice sweetness and the bit of tartness you get from the lemon.

    • Hilah on March 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Jonathan, that sounds so wonderful! I bet the vinegar gets kind of caramelized in the oven, too. Yum! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great Stone Face on March 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Using chili oil instead og olive oil is a nice touch on your part — as expected. Roasted asparagus is my go-to side dish. It can be served hot or room temp. It is so easy, but looks fancy. I usually use olive oil, and for salt I sprinkle on a little kosher salt. I like to present it with roasted red bell pepper slices or roasted lemon slices on top.

    Jonathan is right about the balsamic vinegar. Another wait to present it is to puddle some of the vinegar on the plate and lay the asparagus on top of it. Finally. for something that will amaze your guests, sprinkle on top, instead of balsamic vinegar, a little pomegranate molasses. You can get it at a Middle Eastern market or maybe at Whole Paycheck.

    • Randy on March 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Roasted red peppers sounds great with asparagus! And it’s another no-glycemic-load vegetable for my list.

      BTW, I suspect that Hilah ALWAYS has pomegranate molasses on hand. Anyone for a bumbaclot?

    • Hilah on March 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Oh I bet the red pepper looks so pretty! Do you roast the strips along with the asparagus? It seems like they would cook in about the same amount of time.
      Thanks for the tip on the pomegranate molasses. For real, I’ve had the same bottle in the fridge since the Bumbaclot – I just really don’t know what to do with it. But I bet it would go well with the asparagus! I’ll try it next time.

      • Great Stone Face on March 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

        Yes, I roast the peppers with the asparagus. Good stuff. I’ve roasted white asparagus, too, sometimes with the green. It often stays too tough. I would recommend starting the white first.

  3. Randy on March 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Curse you, Hilah! I was at Whole Foods last night and admired the asparagus. But I talked myself out of buying any thanks to only having thoughts of getting out the old steamer basket. I’ve never tried roasted asparagus, but roasted broccoli and roasted potatoes are two of my favorite foods. And chili oil?!?! Now I’m going to have to head to Whole Foods again. And I just know that I’m not going to be able to resist heading down Beer Alley to find something to pair with it.

    Seriously though, if I were the Pope or something, I’d bless you. What a great idea of cooking a big batch so as to have leftovers for frittatas and omelets. Also, stemming from my poverty of ideas on how to cook it, I overlooked asparagus when I started looking for replacements for the high-glycemic-load items on my favored vegatable list. Goodbye potatoes, hello asparagus.

    I’ve always assumed that toothsome was English for al dente.

    And finally (in my best Ricardo Montablan accent): ¡Que elegante te ves en esto video!

    • Hilah on March 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Aw, Randy, you flatter me! I’m glad to hear asparagus is good for your list and I’m extra glad that I’ve inspired you with a new way to cook it!
      I think you’re right about “toothsome” – it’s such a strange word though to me, still.

    • Great Stone Face on March 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      I wouldn’t go to WF for chili oil. Price it first. I’ll bet it’s a lot less money at an Asian grocery.

      • Randy on March 3, 2012 at 2:09 am

        My grocery shopping is actually very tightly delineated. I only shop at Whole Foods when being organic matters and buy a lot of things most people might buy at a conventional grocery store instead at an Asian supermarket. I buy ALL Asian ingredients and condiments there. Fruits and vegetables are cheaper and usually of higher quality because the owners can count on Asian-Americans maintaining daily shopping traditions and only have to stock what will sell in a day or two. Conventional supermarkets have to plan for a spoilage rate of over 50 percent and pass the cost to the shopper.

  4. Lil on March 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Where do you get chili oil? I’ve never heard of it.

    • Hilah on March 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      You can find it in the Asian section of most grocery stores, or you can make your own by warming some oil on the stove, adding a few dried red chilies, bottling it, and letting it sit for a week or longer. If you can’t find it and don’t have the time to wait to make your own, you could just use some olive oil and add a couple pinches of crushed red pepper flakes to the asparagus before baking.

  5. Diane on March 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Love the roasted asparagus, and I’ll have to try this. I usually do it with miso and lime juice, which is also yummy. Also, love that vintage dress, sister!

    • Hilah on March 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Oh that does sound yummy, Diane! You just mix the miso with lime juice and pour it over?

  6. Libby on March 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

    1. I always wonder how to choose my asparagus. You win, again, at teaching me things that I always forget to Google.
    2. I can’t get enough of that adorable dress.
    3. Roasting is my most favorite way to prepare all of the vegetables! Good idea to use flavored oils, I’ma try that.

    • Hilah on March 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

      Yay! I win! Yeah, my friend mentioned that she uses chili oil to make popcorn on the stove (brilliance!) and that gave me the idea to use it in roasting. I’m gonna experiment with some more flavahs.

      • Randy on March 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

        Popcorn with chili oil? I need the recipe!

      • Great Stone Face on March 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        You’ll like this. I went to Weight Watchers last night (cruel admission) and mentioned that a way to get a little flavor on popcorn is to cook it with chili oil. Two women followed us into the parking lot to get more information on this technique.

        • Hilah on March 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

          Oh how neat! Have you tried it yet?

  7. Josh on March 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I like how you usually try to do a little something to make your outfit match what you are cooking. It makes me want to try to figure out on every video if you did a little shout out to the food or not.

    • Hilah on March 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      It’s true, I do try sometimes. Guess you’ll have to watch every video now to find out! 😉

  8. Dominic Johnson on March 7, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I am Your secret admirer Hilah forever I would like to meet you one day 🙂

  9. Great Stone Face on March 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Marc Bittman just published a couple of articles on miso in the NYT. One use he recommends is a miso compound butter. Here’s the 2nd article.

    Mix 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of room temp. butter with 2 tablespoons of miso, plus optional additions of some freshly ground black pepper, and maybe chopped scallions or chives; minced garlic, ginger, or chili; lemon, lime, or orange juice or citrus zest. Makes 4-8 servings of miso butter.

    He uses it as is, or rolls it into a log in the fridge or freezer for later use. Among the uses are topping asparagus (There you go!), broccoli, carrots, baked sweet potato, regular baked potato.

    • Hilah on March 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Yummm! Sounds like it would be good on toast, too – almost like a milder version of butter and Vegemite!

  10. Mandy on May 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!! After shopping green asparagus without any idea what to do with it, I found this one and it was so delicious 🙂 At the end, I added some butter with hot smoked paprika because I didn’t have chili oil…

    • Hilah on May 22, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Hi Mandy!
      I’m so happy to help! That’s great improvising with smoked paprika. I bet it was so good. Thanks for writing! 🙂

  11. Lu on April 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    I tried this recipe with a little paprika and cayenne pepper and i was amazing! Thank you for showing me how to roast asparagus!

    • Hilah on April 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      So happy you liked it, Lu!

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