Adapted from the Canal House Cooks Every Day cookbook.
Asparagus: The Canal House ladies, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, suggest purchasing fat asparagus and peeling them. Do this if you are able to or simply buy what is available. I never peel — lazy! — but do so if you wish.
Balsamic: You can buy aged balsamic vinegar that’s syrupy or you can simmer balsamic vinegar until it’s reduced by half its volume. Simply simmer 1/4 cup vinegar in a small saucepan until it is thick and syrupy. Keep a close watch the entire time, and transfer the balsamic to a small bowl as soon as it starts to thicken because it will continue to reduce as it sits. This will give you 1 to 2 tablespoons of syrupy balsamic vinegar.
- Heat your oven to 425ºF, convection roast if you have it.
- To prepare the asparagus, snap off the end of each spear. Discard or compost the end. Cut the spears in half. Transfer to a 9×13-inch baking dish or a sheet pan or something similar.
- Drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your hands to ensure each spear is nicely coated and seasoned. Transfer pan to the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tips of the asparagus are just lightly beginning to char.
- Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Taste one spear. If it tastes under-seasoned, sprinkle the entire dish with more salt to taste. Using a peeler — this is my favorite — shave parmesan over top to taste.
- Finish the dish by drizzling the syrupy balsamic over top.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: simple, roasted, asparagus, balsamic, parmesan