Roasted asparagus with garlic & lemon

Roasted asparagus with garlic & lemon

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Not because I was forced to eat it as a kid; the first time I remember eating asparagus wasn’t until my first year of college. And it may have been canned. So it’s no surprise I avoided it like the plague – until this past year. And now it’s one of my favorites. Partly, I admit, because it’s just so damn easy. Few vegetables are easier to prep – no scrubbing or peeling, just a good rinse, and the only cutting needed is taking a bit off the bottom end. You can snap the bottoms off with your fingers, if you like, or just lop them off with a knife. Either way, it takes seconds. A short stopover in the oven, and they’re done. You can dress it with some oil and garlic along the way – and you should, if you have a few extra minutes – but it’s not strictly necessary. Fresh asparagus, cooked until tender but still crunchy, is wonderful all by itself. Speaking of fresh – you do want it as fresh as possible. I tend to order it on Monday and use it on Tuesday. It’s best in the spring. And fresh lemon juice, unsurprisingly, makes an amazing final touch. You don’t need it. But once you try it, you’ll probably never go back. If you make this, you’ll understand why I put asparagus in the logo – few dishes you can make for twenty people are this ridiculously good and this ridiculously easy. Wash the asparagus and trim away an inch or two from the bottom ends. Purée the garlic in a food processor or a blender. With the motor running, slowly add the oil, then the pepper. If you’re using kosher salt, turn off the motor almost immediately – you want to mix it in without totally crushing the flakes.

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