Delicious Roasted Asparagus (and other weird vegetables)



Do you have any vegetables that you never cook because you just have no idea what to do with them? I think we do that more than we realize. If we didn’t grow up eating it or haven’t ever seen anyone cook it, we just walk on by without even noticing. I used to have two vegetables like that but now I’m down to only one because thanks to this recipe, asparagus is no longer just one of my favorite Veggie Tales characters, it is also something mouth wateringly delicious (Sorry Archibald!).

Now some of you, who have been eating asparagus all of your life, may be surprised to find it was pretty much a foreign obstacle to me and my entire family (including grandparents) until recently. Several weeks back while I was in Ecuador I posted some photos of new-to-me foods on my Facebook page and someone commented that they were surprised I didn’t have a more “sophisticated palate”. That made me giggle to read because at no point in my life have I ever set out to have a sophisticated palate!

Many of you know my story by now: I’m a mama with a home ec degree who likes to feed people and enjoys cooking. I’m not a foodie or a chef – I’m a mama and a cook. My food isn’t about venturing to new places for exotic food experiences, it’s about bringing your family home to gather around the dishes from our heritage.

Having said that, though, I don’t object to adding to that heritage from time to time.

Last November, I was talking to my friend Jyl about our menu plans for Thanksgiving dinner and I asked her what her most requested dish was. She told me it was asparagus. I responded with “Asparagus? But what do you DO with it?”

“Oh I roast it!”

I decided that if it was that big of a deal on her family dinner table it had to be something good. I bought some that week and figured I’d make it for supper one night but it got to getting the best of me as I went to bed and I spent most of the night trying to imagine what it could  possibly taste like. The next morning I was standing over a pan of freshly roasted asparagus at around 4:45 AM – and it sure was good! I ate the entire thing. Needless to say, I wasn’t hungry by the time the kids got up for breakfast!

We ended up having this for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and several dinners in betwixt and since then. It’s terribly easy to make and just delicious. Even though there is no butter involved, this asparagus ends up tasting buttery, with flavors of the garden and just the right touch of salt.

I’m glad I tried it and I’m sure it will be a staple in the Jordan family for generations to come.

Is there a vegetable you’ve never tried? If so, why not? No judging here! If you think something looks or sounds weird that’s reason enough for me! Tell me about it in the comments below – and be sure and try this wonderful side dish first chance you get!

Oooh! Let me show you how easy this is to make!

You’ll need: Kosher Salt, Olive Oil, and Asparagus.

Kosher salt really is amazing and it doesn’t cost much at all so I have gotten to where I keep it in hand here lately. Olive Oil is pretty expensive, so I go for generic whenever I can get it and have no qualms whatsoever about substituting vegetable oil in a pinch.

Generic olive oil has the same amount of self esteem as name brand olive oil as long as you don’t talk ugly about it where it can hear you.

Okay, so here is what you do. This is a piece of asparagus and we want to snap the end off. We’ll actually end up snapping the bottom two to three inches off but there is a part where it will snap really easy so we gotta find that by just bending it 2-3 inches from the end and seeing if it snaps easy. If it doesn’t, go up another inch and it should.

Like this.

Please note that this is a two handed operation here, but I’m trying to be all ninja mama so I can get a photo of it broken for you.

After you get all of the ends snapped off, spread them out on a  rimmed baking sheet (or a jelly roll pan).

Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with kosher salt.

Bake this at 425 for about twenty minutes, stirring it once in the middle, until it is just lightly browned.

And that’s all there is to it – Eat up! 


Roasted Asparagus
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Wash Asparagus and break off bottom two inches or so of each stalk.
  3. Arrange on rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Place in oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned on the edges.

Are there any vegetables that you have never tried?

I’d love to hear which ones in the comments below!

I have one vegetable left (that I know of) that I’ve never tried and that is artichokes. No idea what to do with those things but anytime someone tells me how to eat them it just seems like an awful lot of effort for very little return. If you have a fabulous way to prepare artichokes let me know in the comments and I just might give it a try one of these days!


“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want,

but the realization of how much you already have.”


Submitted by Janet. Thank you, Janet!


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  1. Sandy says

    Artichokes are not hard to cook. Start with a large artichoke that still has all the leaves closed. Cut about 1/2 inch off the bottom stem and about 1 inch off the top. Then with kitchen shears, cut the sharp ends off all the leaves. Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and place in enough boiling water to cover. When you can pull off one of the bottom leaves very easily, it is done. Remove it from the water and drain it good. Scoop out all the fine silk or just eat around them by removing each leaf, dipping the meaty part of the leaf in either melted butter or I like mayonaise (especially Miracle Whip), and scrape off the meaty part with your teeth. When you have removed all the outside leaves, remove the fine silk and cut the artichoke heart in pieces, dip it in the mayo and eat it. Even my two boys loved them when they were little.

      • Lisa says

        You do not have to steam artichokes on the stove!! My aunt taught me to steam them in the microwave. Get a plastic or glass container that is narrow and tall and place your trimmed artichokes in (I use a Rubbermaid 3cup dish for 1 artichoke). Put about 1/2 an inch of water in the container, and microwave on high for 10 – 15 minutes – until you can pull a leaf out easily.

        Also, for dipping I like to mix mayo and garlic powder and let it sit while the artichoke is cooking for the flavor to meld.

  2. says


    When I was a child, Auntie would buy a rutabaga every month(This was years ago, when folks shopped at the big grocery store about once a month and picked up little things at the corner store during the month) and I thought it was the ugliest thing. It stayed on the counter until she’d say, “I guess I’mmo cook that rutabaga”. It seemed like she’d always cut her finger dealing with that rutabaga. To this day, I associate rutabagas with being down to the last of your months’ food supply and cut fingers!

    P.S. Auntie actually LOVED rutabaga :)

  3. Denise says

    I skewer the asparagus and drizzle olive oil over it. Then I sprinkle on a little garlic powder and kosher salt. Then I pop them on the BBQ grill for about 4-5 minutes, flipping once. These are to die for!
    Christy, I will trying your recipe when BBQ season is over! Thanks!

  4. Bookworm says

    Well,I made up my own recipe for asparagus. First,mi select the most slinder bunch, and cut them all at once about 2 inches from the bottom. Then wash them in cold water and dry on paper towel. I put them in a large frying pan that has a top and add low-salt chicken broth untol all asparagus are covered in broth. I bring to a slow boil until tender, then add sliced boiled egg. Cook another minute or so and serve. Yum-Yum

  5. Vickie says

    Christy, you may want to shorten the roasting time to 10 min. or less. The spears will look greener and have a little snap. Lemon zest , Parmesan cheese or both make a delicious garnish.
    Thank you for Southern Plate!

  6. Suzie says

    I love almost all veggies and we eat all of them except Okra just can’t get over the slime. We love to steam the big Artichokes but by far my favorite is baby Artichokes trimmed and roasted with olive oil and garlic baby ones you eat the whole thing and there is no choke in them… Yummy

  7. Amy says

    We love roasted asparagus at our house too! I add black pepper and some fresh garlic to your way of doing it. I loved rutabegas as a kid, but I am thinking that my Mama always got canned ones, I will have to get one and try it again! I just got my first basket from Bountiful Baskets, and it included an artichoke…so I boiled it with lemon juice and some salt then just ate it…but it did seen like alot of work for not much return, and I see why canned artichoke hearts are so expensive now!!

  8. Jennifer Goodwin says

    My husband and I never had asparagus before until we were at The Palm in Nashville and my brother-in-law said we HAD to try it! We ate it ALL!!!! Since then, I order it EVERY time we go to Shula’s. (We’re NOT rich, just like to treat ourselves every once in a while!) They told us they drizzle theirs with a little Balsamic vinegar and man is it GOOD! Asparagus is now one of my fav veggies and my kids actually like it too!

  9. sara says

    All I do with my artichokes are steam them in a steamer basket on the stove for about forty-five minutes to an hour or until tender. Sometimes if I am feeling ambitious I tuck some garlic cloves into the leaves to give it some extra flavor. Then you eat just as Sandy described, complete with the mayo!

    I JUST introduced my husband to artichokes and the first thing he says when he saw them on the stove was “What the heck are those?” and then after I told him, “How do you eat them?” So I willingly (mind you, artichokes are a favorite of mine – probably because they are so expensive I don’t eat them much!), demonstrated with my mayo and without trying it with mayo he claimed that I was messing up the flavors. Silly men. He liked them in the end though. Although he never did try it with the mayo.

  10. Elisha says

    I didn’t eat asparagus either until a couple of years ago. Now I love it! I use sesame oil, a little minced garlic and kosher salt & roast it about 10 or 15 minutes, so it’s still pretty crunch. I could eat the whole pan by myself! The sesame oil just really sets it off and it reminds me of the crisp veggies you get at a Chinese restaurant. Yummy!

  11. Maureen says

    If you add a clove of finely minced garlic and a squeeze of lemon to the asparagus it will taste even better! Once my herbs are up and running I add some chopped thyme or basil or parsley or rosemary…you get the idea!

  12. SweetCarol says

    Try a bit of bacon or thin ham or proscuitto and put a bit of cream cheese or herbed or Garlic cheese lon the ham or proscuitto and then roll up with a couple of asparagus spears insdie. Asparagus can be preroaasted or can just fry it up or put in the oven until the meat is cooked and the asparagus roasted. This makes a great appetizer.

    I have never tries artichoke either and there are others as well, when you think of the hispanic veggies that are in our stores now. I haven’t had yams (have had sweet potatoes). Don’t know how to eat the artichokes either. Sure glad I found that I like asparagus. I used to eat directly out of the can. But hen I parboiled some and used them in a pot like flowers (carrot roses, onions fanned out and green onions covering skewers and it looked like a flower pot with the grape and cherry tomatoes and the green pepper leaves, etc. Well the asparagus was great just parboiled and dipped in ranch dip. That was great.

  13. Leslie says

    I don’t know how my mom fixed asparagus but it was stringy & bitter – but I’m willing to try your way. The other one is Brussels sprouts. Uck! Does anyone really like them?

  14. Faith says

    We steam Brussels sprouts just until tender then combine them with bell pepper strips and onion strips sauteed in butter. Season to taste. Don’t over cook the Brussels sprouts or they get bitter.

  15. Catherine says

    We cook asparagus by preparing it but leave wet and placing it on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, poke couple of holes with ice pick and microwave about 2 to 3 minutes or to your preference. we like it a little crisp. Try Raspberry Vinergrette with it.

  16. Eva says

    Love the Asparagus recipe !! My husband doesn’t care for it but my little dog loves it. I always offer him a bite of what I’m eating, and he would not leave me alone, had to roast up some more.
    I use sea salt…what is the big difference in sea salt and Kosher?? I have both, I sent the recipe to my Southern cousin in California, she prepared it for her Bible study friends, they all raved over it,.
    Christy I Love your information you send out. Thank you so much.
    Love Eva

  17. Bonnie Erpenbeck says

    Christy, do you have a recipe for fried fresh green beans, my sister used to make them as soon as fresh beans came out and I can remember her frying bacon or cottage ham and rendering the fat. Then she blanched beans and added them to the drippings. I just need a recipe for them. She always had corn bread and fresh thick sliced tomatoes with them. Oh my don’t that sound yummy??

  18. Alice says

    A friend of mine adds a little lemon juice to the recipe above. It adds a nice tang. Also, if you put all your asparagus in a zip bag with the other ingredients, you can shake to give each a nice coating. After that you can roast as suggested, grill, or even throw in a pan on the stove depending on what’s easiest for the rest of your meal. Incredibly flexible veggie to cook. :)

  19. Kate says

    You can also steam asparagus in the microwave-just rinse, snap off the bottoms, then put them on a microwave safe plate with a wet paper towel under and over them. Nuke for roughly 4 minutes and presto. I also do corn this way, it preserves the most nutrients and is the easiest cooking method.

  20. Jan says

    I need to confess that I was raised as one of those lucky California Kids, given every vegetable known to man! My Mom cooked asparagus all summer long, every which way but upside down! Since I don’t cook asparagus very often, I love the way I can just log onto Southern Plate and find recipes that can be made right now, knowing that they are “Christy developed and tested.” Thanks for a great, simple way to cook this wonderful vegetable.

  21. Margaret says

    My husband never had asparagus until we married, and now he absolutely loves it, as do our children! Roasting it is really one of my favorite ways to prepare it, but this marinated version is also very good. One thing I love about preparing asparagus this way is it will keep very well, making it the perfect vegetable to complement a meal you’re taking to someone when reaching out due to illness, surgery, loss of a loved one, or to celebrate a new baby, etc. (I always struggle when choosing a vegetable to take with a meal since most veggies, in my opinion, are best consumed right after cooking! But not so with asparagus prepared this way!)

    1 1/2 lb fresh asparagus
    3/4 c chopped pecans (I omit most of the time but they’re a nice *fancy* touch!)
    2 T vegetable oil
    1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
    1/4 c cider vinegar
    Pepper to taste
    Snap ends off asparagus and wash. Place in skillet, cover with water and cook until bright green and *just* fork tender/crisp, taking care not to overcook. Remove using tongs to a dish with sides, pour marinade over. May refrigerate to serve later or serve at room temperature within a few minutes. The taste permeates the asparagus pretty quickly. Try it, you’ll love it!

  22. says

    I’m with you on artichokes. I love them but have never purchased a fresh one and would not know what to do with it.
    I buy canned artichoke hearts or artichoke bottoms and add them to spinach casserole or pasta salad. Delicious.

  23. Larry says

    When my wife (a caterer) fixes it for clients she does the same as you except she also adds ground black pepper and garlic powder. She also pours the olive oil on the pan and “rolls” the asparagus spears back and forth to coat them will with oil.

  24. Mary Jo says

    Love asparagus. My Mom use to take the ends you snap off and save them to make soup. You would be surprised how much is still edible on what you snapped off. You take a knife and just slice the stem until it gets really tough. She would chop up some celery, onions, garlic and a can of tomatoes. Also a couple of strips of bacon for the smokiness it added. Simmer this awhile and then add the chopped asparagus ends and a hand full of noodles.

  25. Tess says

    We grew up Asparagus picking, so it doesn’t seem weird at all. What I haven’t done is roast it before, this was yummy. I made it for Easter and everyone loved it! I will be making it this way for now on.

  26. Wendy Dement Smith says

    Roasted Asparagus is great with some parmesan sprinkled on it just as it comes out of the oven. I also didn’t have any green beans one time and had a few cans and made an asparagus casserole instead of green bean. Hey whatever you got to cook with try it, if worse comes to worse you can always order pizza 😉

  27. Eva says

    Quick meal, chicken breasts coated with mustard snd chopped nuts, original recipe said cashews, but I’ve done it with almonds, peanuts, and pecans ss well, place on one end of a cooking sheet, in the middle of yhe sheet, put another veggie in slices, toss with olive oil, and herbs and salt and pepper, I usually use potatoed, but have done carrots and rutabagas, then on the other end of the dheet, place your sspsragus, slip it all into the oven, bake at 375 F for 35 to 50 minutes depending on your oven and or how well you want it done. One pan and if you use parchment paper, hardly any clean up. I have a pressuremister, you place your oil in the bottom, like a jar, the top pumps pressure into the bottom,then you can spray a mist of oil on your veggies and or sslads, lightens the smount of oil.

    • Samantha says

      I had an olive oil mister like that years ago, but it broke. Ever since then, I’ve just used a spray bottle that I got in the dollar store. I use it almost daily and it works great! I just spray the olive oil in a pan whenever cooking with it, and I always spritz my veggies with oil when I’m roasting them.

      Christy, I roast asparagus like this all the time, as well as many other vegetables. My favorite is cauliflower. It’s so good roasted in the oven; it caramelizes and gets a nice nutty flavor. Spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and some garlic powder. I do broccoli like that all the time too. Sometimes I add some red and yellow bell pepper strips to the broccoli. They also taste wonderful roasted, and they add some nice color to the dish with the broccoli.

  28. Barbara Miller says

    i grow my own and fresh picked is way better than from the store. they are easy to grow from a root and set for harvest quicker than growing by seeds.

    i also make “cheater” creamy asparagus soup…….

    1 can creamy asparagus soup
    1 soup can milk
    1 cup water
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    1 can chopped asparagus, drained
    dash black pepper
    put it all in a pot on the stove top and cook over med heat until it comes to a boil then low to simmer 5 min stir occasionally, scraping the bottom to prevent scorching. serve hot. makes a great side for fish

  29. Eliza More says

    My uncle takes cream of mushroom soup and cooked asparagus (can use can if want) and he mixes it all up with chopped onion and chopped boiled egg (can add mushrooms too either sautéed or from a can). On top he would create spread out row across the casserole dish with slices of boiled egg for decoration. He’d then bake it at 350 about 25 min (till bubbly). Sometimes he would fry buttered cracker crumbs and sprinkle on top. (can add salt & pepper, garlic to the mix part if want).

    I use to roast them, but sometimes they would still turn out stringy even though I had picked out thin young stalks or I would over cook them trying to be sure they were not stringy and chewy which was irritating. I was trying to figure out how to fix this problem when I happen to eat at this restaurant that served me these unbelievably huge, thick (really thick) stalks and they were perfect, not over cooked. I sat there thinking how did they do this, then it hit me, they have to blanch them first! So now I blanch my asparagus (boil 3-4 min) then I roll them in olive oil, salt, garlic, pepper to taste. I can then heat them up roasting them slightly in the oven or serve them on a platter at room temperature which I did recently at a new years party on a platter with olives, pickles, ect… all of the asparagus was eaten, they were a hit! My kid like to eat them at room temp like this as a snack now :)

    • Eliza More says

      *add sprinkle crackers after pull from the oven
      *blanch: boil 3-4 min then quickly pull out with tongs and put in bowl of ice and water to stop the cooking; get edible stalks that are still firm.

  30. Pat in Miss. says

    Try adding a little balsamic vinegar to the olive oil and kosher salt. If I didn’t get my share first, my son would eat the entire pan while standing at the stove when I took it out of the oven.

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