We just cannot get enough of this gorgeous asparagus and have been making our favorite side dish for dinner throughout the spring. Recently, I tried out Barefoot Contessa’s preparation, where she cuts off the woody stems and also uses her vegetable peeler to shave off the lower third of the remaining stems. At first I thought this would be an unnecessary step but it makes such a difference. The result is a crunchy asparagus that you can cleanly bite all the way through and isn’t at all tough and stringy. I’ve been tossing in olive oil and generously sprinkling the asparagus with Chipotle chile before broiling*, which gives it a little bit of heat and a very smoky flavor. After five minutes in the broiler, sprinkle with a bit of parmesan when it comes out. Sometimes I even forget about the main dish and just like to eat these alone like french fries!
*I know roasted asparagus sounds so much better than broiled, but this is not only much much faster but preserves the crunch that is lost from over roasting, so I’m sticking with it!