Food Stuff

Illustration By Marianne Mancina

Now that asparagus season is in full swing, and the bright-green, purple-tipped spears are in every market, the question arises: What should you do with them? Asparagus is one of those vegetables that really is notably better in season, and it’s certainly cheaper. Plus, it’s delicious. I could eat it at every meal in April and May. But plain old steaming, however tasty, can get a little dull. My favorite cooking method thus has become roasting. Trim the asparagus (I never bother peeling the bottom parts of the spears; just snap them off wherever they break) and douse it lightly in olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the tips are crunchily caramelized and the stems are tender—anywhere from five to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. Add salt, pepper and anything else you like: fresh mint and shaved Parmesan after roasting, lemon zest and toasted cumin seeds before, or a simple dollop of mayonnaise.