ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH CHEESE (for six)
1-1/2 pounds fresh jumbo asparagus, either green or white or a combination of the two
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 450*.
- Wash the asparagus under cold running water, break off about one inch from the bottom of each spear, pat dry with paper towels and place in a single layer on a jelly roll pan or baking sheet.
- Brush asparagus with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Roast the asparagus, shaking the pan every 2 minutes or so, for 6 minutes, then sprinkle with the cheese. Return to the oven for the final 2 minutes of roasting, allowing the cheese to melt into the asparagus. If you want the cheese to brown, pass it briefly under the broiler.
- Transfer asparagus to a platter with tongs and serve.
NOTE: As an alternative to the Parmesan cheese, transfer roasted asparagus to a platter and sprinkle it with ½ cup crumbled feta cheese. Garnish with chopped kalamata olives.
Or, sprinkle roasted asparagus with 6 slices browned bacon, crumbled, a 3-1/2 to 4 ounce log of soft, fresh goat cheese, crumbled, 2 teaspoons lemon juice , and 1 teaspoon lemon peel.