I learned as a child, right or wrong, that it was acceptable to eat asparagus by picking it up like a French fry. So I’ve always been a fan of dipping the spears into sauces for fun—good manners or not. Thicker asparagus is best for this recipe, so look for the fattest spears. The tips will be toasty browned and crispy after roasting.
Charred Asparagus with Rosemary Aioli
- 3 lbs. fresh asparagus
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp table salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- Garnish: fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Toss with olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast at 450°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until browned and crispy. (Asparagus will look shriveled.)
- To make aïoli, combine mayonnaise, garlic, rosemary, and lemon juice. Serve asparagus with aïoli for dipping.
Vegetables intended for dinner should be gathered early in the morning. Only a few can be kept 12 hours without detriment.
—Annabella P. Hill in
Mrs. Hill’s Southern Practical Cookery and Receipt Book (1872)