Are you ready for asparagus season?
This has to be one of the easiest ways to cook asparagus. Just trim the ends, lay out on a foil lined baking sheet, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan, and then bake until done. I eat them like French fries. Addictive? Yes.
They're a perfect side to salmon, scallops, shrimp, or ham and delicious with eggs of any kind—poached, fried, or hard boiled.
Video: Baked Asparagus With Parmesan
How to Make Baked Asparagus with Parmesan
Choosing Fresh Asparagus
Look for asparagus stalks that are a rich green color that gets lighter at the bottom of the stalk. The stalks should be firm, not wilted or brittle with splitting ends. The tips should be tight, not starting to spread.
Asparagus can range in size, so choose stalks of a uniform length and thickness for even cooking time.
Storing Fresh Asparagus
The best way to store fresh asparagus if you're not cooking it immediately is to treat it like a bouquet of flowers, including trimming a little off the bottoms. The trimmed ends need to be kept wet but the stalks need to be kept dry.
Put fresh asparagus stalks in a glass and add enough water so the bottoms of the stalks are submerged an inch deep. Place a plastic bag over the glass and place it in the refrigerator. The asparagus should keep firm for two or three days this way.
Alternately, you can dampen a paper towel and wrap it around the bottom of the stalks, then put the stalks in a zip top bag. Store in the crisper for two to three days.
Ways to Improvise This Recipe
- Add garlic powder or fresh minced garlic to the Parmesan cheese.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and some Italian seasonings to panko and sprinkle that on the asparagus in Step 2.
- Switch out the Parmesan cheese for another hard cheese such as Grana Padano, Pecorino, Emmental, or Gruyere.
More Great Asparagus Recipes
Baked Asparagus With Parmesan
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse or chunky kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup loosely packed (about 1.5 ounces or 40g) shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
Prep the asparagus:
Preheat oven or air fryer, if using, to 400°F. Break or cut off the woody ends of the asparagus spears. For an added touch, if you want you can use a vegetable peeler to peel the skins off the base of the asparagus spears for a more elegant presentation.
Add olive oil, salt, pepper, cheese:
Arrange the asparagus spears on a foil-lined baking sheet and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
If using the air fryer, coat the asparagus with olive oil then place in a single layer in the fryer basket. Sprinkle the salt, paper, and Parmesan on top.
Bake at 400°F until the cheese begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes.