For years, asparagus was one of those veggies I only ate in restaurants. It just seemed too exotic to make at home, probably because I was raised mostly on the usual boring variety of canned vegetables: peas, corn, and string beans. As my cooking skills improved and I bade goodbye to canned vegetables forever, I finally decided to bite the bullet and try cooking fresh asparagus at home. So glad I did! Asparagus is great steamed or roasted with a little salt and pepper, but the Parmesan cheese in this dish gives it a little extra oomph. — L. Weal

one bunch thin asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt
ground black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Parmesan cheese, grated

shallow roasting pan
aluminum foil
paring knife
paper towels
large (5-quart) bowl
mixing spoon

1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Line pan with foil. Cut off about an inch of the woody stems at the ends of the asparagus spears. Discard ends.
2. Rinse asparagus well and dry with paper towels.
3. Mix asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper in bowl.
4. Place asparagus in pan in a single layer and sprinkle generously with Parmesan. Roast about 20 minutes.

• If using pre-grated Parmesan, buy it from the dairy case – not the pasta aisle – for best flavor.

30 minutes

3—4 servings