An Easy Asparagus Appetizer Recipe
This asparagus appetizer recipe (which serves double-duty as a fabulous side dish to add to your repertoire) is as easy as it is delicious. Not only will you love it but your friends will be asking for the recipe. Tell them it’s from Christine at Cook the Story. I’d love to have your friends visit my site anytime!
My perfect Saturday morning: a political podcast playing on the stereo, hot coffee on the counter and a list of kitchen tasks on the notepad in anticipation of guests coming for dinner.
There’s nothing I like more than spending Saturday morning prepping and cooking. However, these days it’s hard to clear away that time. There’s karate class to go to, a trip to Home Depot for a new shower head, a birthday party gift to buy at Target, breastfeeding, diaper-changing, and who knows what else to take care of.
We seem to hit the ground running, jumping and doing cartwheels on Saturday morning.
And yet, we haven’t stopped having people over for dinner. With less time to prepare, I’ve become great at quick and easy company-worthy feasts. This past weekend we had neighbors over for a campfire. It was simple hotdogs and s’mores so no real prep needed. But I did want to make some appetizers for us all to snack on before the meat hit the fire.
(Snacks or appetizers are REQUIRED at any get-together involving small children. You never know when dinner will be delayed or when they’ll all get nutso. Best to have some food ready to distract them. Of course the kiddies were offered the asparagus shown below but there was also a big bowl of Pirate’s Booty and a wealth of juice boxes on hand in case they were feeling picky).
This is one of my favorite appetizers to make for friends and family. It’s super-quick and easy to prepare and really simple. And yet, it always gets many many compliments. People ask how I cooked the asparagus and they ask what exactly is on it. That it’s just simple salt, pepper and olive oil is always surprising.
But to be honest, it’s the cheese that makes it. People aren’t used to eating big pieces of parmesan cheese this way. Somehow the big slivers aren’t strong and smelly the way it is when shredded. Instead, they’re salty and soft and perfect with the asparagus. Give this easy asparagus appetizer a try. I *know* you’ll love it!
- 1 pound of medium-thickness asparagus, trimmed, washed and dried
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- ¼ tsp. table salt
- ¾ tsp. coarse black pepper, divided
- a 3 or 4 ounce wedge of parmesan cheese (you’ll only use about half of it but you need a nice-sized one like this to get the grabbable strips of cheese off of it)
- ½ tsp. coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Lay the asparagus in a single layer on a large pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil and sprinkle with the table salt and ¼ tsp. of the black pepper. Toss it all around to coat.
- Roast uncovered for 5 minutes, until asparagus is the greenest of greens and just yields to the tines of a fork. You might be tempted to let it stay in there for another minute or two. I advise against it. If the asparagus softens too much it will not be as bright or as crisp.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the asparagus come to room temperature on the pan. This will allow them to continue to cook just a tiny bit more.
- Leave them at room temperature for up to an hour or cover and transfer to the fridge for up to 4 hours.
- Transfer the asparagus to a serving plate making sure that their tips all point in the same direction (this is just because they look prettiest this way). Use a potato peeler to shave 20-30 big stripes of parmesan onto the asparagus. Tuck some of the parmesan down under the asparagus so that it is evenly distributed and not all piled up on top. Drizzle everything with the remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining ½ tsp. of coarse black pepper and with the sea salt. Take the platter to your guests and immediately serve some asparagus and cheese onto your own plate and then pick up a piece or two with your fingers so that they know what to do.
The best thing about this asparagus appetizer recipe? It’s so easy that I get to sit back and relax once the guests arrive. There’s nothing better than that!