Broiling asparagus is my new favourite way to cook this spring classic. Cooking it quickly and with high heat means the outsides get crispy, while the insides stay perfectly tender crisp. It's totally the way to go, and I've switched all my family and friends over!
Asparagus has been a favourite vegetable of mine for years, and for years, I cooked it by roasting it. Normally, it worked pretty ok. But I have to say, I was never able to get that perfect restaurant level of doneness that I wanted too. Cue broiling. It's so perfect, and so easy, I can't believe it took me so long to figure this out. Plus this recipe is also super healthy, vegan, and gluten free.
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This recipe could not be any easier. All I do to mine is olive oil, salt and pepper, and that's it. This is especially good when fresh asparagus is in season. If you're feeling fancy, grate some parmesan cheese and lemon zest over the top and call it a day.
How to Make Broiled Asparagus
- Trim your woody asparagus stems. I like to bend my stalks and snap them at the weak point. Don't through out the stems though, if you freeze them they make an excellent addition to stews, soups, and stocks!
- Set your oven to the broil setting on high. Adjust the top rack in the oven so it's six inches below the element .
- Place your asparagus in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Lay in a single layer on a large baking pan. Broil for 3-4 minutes, then stir the stalks, and broil for another three minutes. (Use less time if you like the stalks extra crispy, more time if you like them softer).
That's literally it, that's the recipe.
- DO NOT OVERCROWD THE PAN. I cannot stress this enough. This is a rule you should follow for any vegetable. Each stalk should have room between it and the next stalk, and it should be in one even layer. If you're cooking a big batch, USE TWO BAKING SHEETS. I can't count the number of times that veggies that were supposed to be crisp or caramelized came out of the oven...steamed. Which is way more boring.
- Make sure your broiler is fully heated. The key to this method is high and fast heat, so we get that crispy outside and crisp inside. Don't try and rush the preheating process.
- Add hollandaise sauce or aioli for an extra treat.
Storage and Reheating
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, you can use the microwave (not ideal), or warm it up on a baking sheet in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350F. Keep an eye on it though so it doesn't overcook!
How to Serve Asparagus
Asparagus is a great side to pretty much any meal, but here's a few that I love it with:
- Baking sheet
- 1 lb asparagus woody stems removed (save for later use)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp fresh black pepper
- Preheat your oven to the high setting on broil. Place your top oven rack about six inches away from the element.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- Spread the asparagus evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil for 3-4 minutes, toss and broil for another 3-4 minutes.
- Serve immediately.