I am so excited when I see the first asparagus coming into the markets in the spring! The sight of those little stalks is a current of freshness that takes hold in my brain and moves me to buy lemons, strawberries, green onions, and practically any other little fresh green thing I see. Today’s small luxury also has the benefit of being simple and quick to make: you can think of it, make it, and eat it in half an hour with almost no effort and almost no clean-up. Don’t we all have days when that hits the mark?
I use purchased flatbread for the base here, and that is a wonderful thing. Homemade flatbread is awesome, and soon I’ll share my recipe for it. But if you buy a bag of several flatbreads, take them out of the package and freeze them individually and uncovered for 30 minutes. Then put them back in their package and keep the package in the freezer. This keeps the breads from sticking together as they freeze, and you can pull them out and pop them under your broiler as needed to enjoy for quick dinners. I like to broil, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with some kosher salt, then use as needed.
To roast the asparagus, preheat your oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash and dry the asparagus, then snap off the bottoms of the stems and discard them. Lay the remaining veg on the foil-lined sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then use your hands to toss the asparagus so the oil coats it evenly. Sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of kosher salt, and place in the preheated oven.
Roast the asparagus until it’s done to your liking. Hard to give a time here, since thickness of asparagus varies widely. I’m going to say you should expect to roast it for between ten and twenty minutes. Please watch carefully, as only you can know the point at which you will love it best.
Toast a piece of flatbread under your broiler (both sides); brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Spread on a few tablespoons of goat cheese (sub cream cheese or ricotta if you don’t like goat.) Place the roasted asparagus on top, and grate on some lemon zest. This is also fantastic with cracked black pepper if you are inclined.
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