There’s a good chance that the asparagus you serve for dinner this time of year comes from Michigan. The Wolverine state ranks second in the nation producing over 20 million pounds of asparagus during the early May to end of June harvest.
Fresh asparagus not only tastes good (okay, okay, it’s an acquired taste), but is also a well-balanced vegetable that is good for you. Nutrients like fiber, potassium, thiamin, and vitamin B6 are loaded in the green spears. Plus, they are low in sodium and an excellent source of folate (which is necessary for blood cell formation and preventing liver disease).
Asparagus is also a “Clean 15” food meaning that you do not need to buy it organic because of the short harvest season. According to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, asparagus is one of the safest conventionally grown crops to consume because it is less likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
When cooking with asparagus, you’ll see just how versatile it is. I’ve added it to salads, wraps, and a frittata. You can also make it into a soup or hummus. For me though, the best ways to cook the veggie is when I add them to a stir-fry, on the grill, or my favorite way: roasted in the oven.
After cleaning and trimming the asparagus, I place the spears in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, I combine the extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, the zing of crushed red pepper flakes, and the zest of a lemon. Coat the asparagus with the olive oil mixture. I then place the asparagus on a baking sheet, season it with salt and pepper, and place the lemon wedges on the sheet. I then roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes, turning once.
This Lemon Roasted Asparagus comes out amazing. I love the added zest and zingy flavor that this lemon roasted asparagus brings to the meal. It’s refreshing and leaves a lemony aftertaste that makes you want more.
The best part about seeing these giant green spears in the grocery store or farmer’s market is knowing that summer is finally here. My kids don’t appreciate that – yet. I’m not going to lie and say that everyone loves this. It is asparagus after all. But there is something special about having fresh, in-season vegetables.
Growing up, vegetables came out of a can. It was the rotation of green beans, peas, or carrots and I think that’s why I love this Lemon Roasted Asparagus recipe so much. My family, they see a green veggie and groan. But they finish this. They eat it up and I see them licking their lips (it’s that aftertaste I’m talking about). And that for me means that this recipe doesn’t suck.
Let us know what’s your favorite way to serve asparagus is in the comment section below. Do your kids groan when they see something green or are they willing to try new things?
Lemon Roasted Asparagus
- 2 lbs asparagus ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 450F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. Add the trimmed asparagus to the mixing bowl. Shake the bowl making sure that the aspagus is well coated.
Arrange the asaparagus on a baking sheet; pour any extra olive oil from the bowl on top of the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut lemon wedges on the pan along with the asparagus.
Roast the asparagus until tender and has turned a golden color, about 10 minutes.
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Keep the red beans cookin’!
Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.