Baked Asparagus

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Asparagus is first baked with olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and garlic, then coated with parmesan butter during the last few minutes of cooking, creating a creamy, luxurious sauce as it finishes baking. When you add the parmesan butter, be sure to toss until a sauce is formed to prevent the cheese from forming clumps as it cooks. The asparagus makes a gorgeous side dish to serve with fish, chicken, pork, or really any protein you like.

Baked Asparagus
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
Servings:
4

Ingredients

  • 1 small (3 ounce) lemon

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane grater (1 teaspoon)

  • 2 bunches (about 2 pounds total) fresh asparagus, about 1/3 to 1/2-inch in diameter, trimmed

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 ounces)

  • ¼ cup chopped mixed fresh tender herbs (such as basil, tarragon, and flat-leaf parsley)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grate zest of lemon into a small bowl; stir in oil and garlic. Cut ends off lemon and discard. Slice lemon into thin rounds. Toss together asparagus, lemon slices, and oil mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to evenly coat. Spread out in an even layer on baking sheet. Bake asparagus 8 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, mash together butter and cheese in a small bowl until combined.

  3. Remove baking sheet from oven. Spoon butter mixture evenly over asparagus. Toss using tongs until evenly coated and mixture forms creamy sauce; spread in an even layer. Return asparagus to oven and bake until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a serving platter. Spoon butter mixture from baking sheet over asparagus. Sprinkle with herbs.

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