Broiled Asparagus

Ingredients - Preparation - Cooking - Nutritional

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As a kid I remember Asparagus as being slimy, mushy and cold. I liked the taste but has a very hard time getting past the texture. As I grew older I got used to the texture and just ate it. My kids thought never got used to it and it was a struggle to get them to eat one spear. They are all now young adults.

Lately I have been reading a lot about baked and broiled vegetables and thought I should give asparagus a try. So this recipe has no real source and is so simple that others may claim I have copied it, but this was my experiment from scratch.


1 pound Asparagus
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice from one large orange


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Remove the woody end of the asparagus. Recently, I learned a trick from Cook's Illustrated, I do not remember which magazine, for removing the woody end of the Asparagus. Take the asparagus by the base in one hand and with the other hand hold the stalk about half way up. Bend the asparagus to a 45° angle and the asparagus should snap just above the woody part. If it does no snap it is ok.

Put the garlic through a garlic press to expose as many cells as possible. place it in a baking sheet (the picture shows a pan since this is from my chicken recipes) with the olive oil and place over very low heat until you smell the first burst of garlic—about one to two minutes. This accelerates dissolving the garlic flavor in the oil and will bring a better garlic flavor to the asparagus.

To coat the asparagus with the seasoning I have tried a variety of ways. When I put the seasonings in the pan with the garlic the seasons tended to stay with the old and not stick to the asparagus. The two best way was to put the seasons on a plate, roll the asparagus in the oil/garlic and then roll it in the seasonings. This gets you the best coating and the best presentation, but is a lot of work.

I have found that rolling the asparagus in the oil and placing them on a oven proof cooling rack and them sprinkling on the seasonings is far more efficient and yields the same taste. So, to be sure, roll the asparagus in the oil/garlic and place on a rack. Since the tops of most asparagus curl a little, make sure all the curls are going the same direction. This will make flipping a heck of a lot easier. When all the asparagus is on the rack, take a spatula and scrape up the remaining garlic and disperse it on evenly across the asparagus. Put the rack on the baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle the asparagus with the seasonings. Although I do not do it, you can turn the asparagus and do the other side.

Salt and pepper are a must, but do not over do the salt, you do not want to over power the asparagus. I often add cayenne, but I only do half the batch since my wife thinks it is too hot. On close examination, you will see that in the pictures.

You can let this sit for quite a while, although I have never tried long periods (five hours) but sitting for an hour or two while you get other things ready is not a problem.

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To cook set them about 5-4 inched away from the broiler and put the broiler on high (500° or higher). Broil them on one side for 4-5 minutes and then turn them. Use cooking tongs to flip each one. Using tongs will minimize the loss of seasonings and is not as tedious as it sounds. I learned my lesson on aligning the curl on the tips in the pictured batch since, as I flipped them, the tips crossed and they cooked unevenly.

If you are cooking something else in the oven you can double up as shown to the right. Just make sure you do not over cooking the other dish.

After flipping watch close to no burn the tips. They are done when little leaves on the stalks just start to turn dark.

Serve immediately.

This goes good with almost any meat and here is pictured with Garlic Wine Chicken.

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Nutritional Data

The site is a wealth of information on foods. They provide the ability to add a recipe into their system and create a host of data about that recipe. Below is a copy of those results for this recipe.

The Good
This food is very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Niacin, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Copper and Manganese.

The Bad
This food is high in Sodium.

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