Asparagus is in season, which means it’s fresh, readily available, and reasonably priced. This also means you don’t need to do much to these emerald and amethyst spears from the lily family to make them taste good. For a recent bunch I bought, I cooked them as simply as one possibly can, and they were quite yummy. I share that method with you now… But I will not share with you the proper plural of asparagus.* Instead, I will make it up.**
One bunch asparagus spears
A few pinches sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, herbs, and fresh lemon, optional
Break off the woody ends of the asparagus spears. To do this, just snap off the part at the bottom that’s wider and lighter colored. The stalk should naturally break at the point where that undesirable part meets the succulent yummy part. (If the asparagus is uniformly green all the way to the bottom, this whole snapping process may have been done for you).
Now plop the asparagus(es?) into a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, and toss lightly to coat. Spread the spears into a single layer and sprinkle with the sea salt (and freshly ground black pepper, dried basil or oregano, if ya want). Put pan under broiler, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, and then check. If the asparagus is bright green and tender when pierced with a fork, it’s done. Broil for a few more minutes if necessary. Finish with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
Now it’s ready to serve as a side dish, slice up and add to a stir-fry at the very end, wrap whole in an omelet, or slice in half lengthwise and use for a sandwich or sushi rolls.
I recommend roasting/broiling up your whole bunch of asparagoi at once, and then storing it in the fridge. Now it’s ready to use in all the above ways, or just as a snack.
*…which, according to my (printed and bound!) copy of Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, is just boring old “asparagus.”
**I am not entirely making this up. It makes a lot of sense to pluralize this Latin- or Greek-derived word (Merriam Webster says it could be either) using the morphology of those languages. I chose to base this on what the spelling would be in Greek, because my name is Greek and I already talk about alumni and alumnae all day.