We spent the weekend at our favorite vacation spot and, as luck would have it, got a call from some very good friends about dinner; they also happened to be in town. Fun! They invited us to dinner and we quite happily accepted, and then I offered to bring a dish and was asked for a side.
No problem, right? Except that, being on vacation, I didn’t have my usual arsenal of pots and pans and Yummy Things in Jars and Bottles. Also, being a working girl, I didn’t want to run out and buy $30 worth of condiments and spices and such for one dinner party, and then haul it all back home where it would sit for awhile (being duplicates of what I already have) until I didn’t want to use it anymore. So I hopped in the car and visited the local market to see what was fresh and in season, and would avoid both one person’s soy allergy and another’s gluten sensitivity.
This was perfect. In-season asparagus, a lemon, a little cheese, and a sprinkling of oil, and I had the perfect side–allergy-friendly, truly delicious, and perfect at room temperature, so there was no pressure to make room in her oven when we got there. It was gobbled up, and I’ll definitely do it again.
A bunch or two of asparagus (I used a bunch and a half for four adults)
A little shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese (ask the deli for a sample, or just buy a hunk and know it’ll last forever)
Olive oil spray
Heat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with the oil.
Snap off the woody ends from the asparagus and lay it in a single layer on the baking sheet. Give it a scant shot of oil on its top side.
Cut the lemon in half, and sprinkle the asparagus with the juice of half of it.
Put it in the oven and let it roast until it starts to caramelize and is crisp-tender. That was about 10 minutes in my oven, but keep an eye on it.
Pull it out of the oven, sprinkle it with the juice of the rest of the lemon, and sprinkle the cheese on top (it’ll melt just enough to stick to the spears…mmmmm). Let cool, package up, take along, and enjoy.