Asparagus Sampler Bar

Start with delicious asparagus, then build a buffet of easy add-ons to please everyone's palate.

For a fresh take on asparagus, try this. I just love asparagus, but my favorite way to cook it is to actually roast it rather than steaming it. To roast it, it's gonna add a lot of really great flavor because it's gonna make the asparagus nice and brown. So to start, I'm gonna have my fresh cleaned asparagus, and if you didn't know, there's kind of a woody tough base at the bottom of the asparagus. You wanna remove that before you're cooking it. So I just hold it in both hands, and then just start to bend the asparagus, and it's just gonna snap in a natural spot. Toss away that bottom portion and you're left with a really tender, nice spear. So I'm just gonna do that to all my asparagus. You can get your kids involved. They'd really like to snap that asparagus, and just throw it into a 15-by-10-inch baking pan. Sprinkle it with a little bit of salt and pepper to give it a little bit of nice flavor. Here's my pepper, and a little salt, and then drizzle it with a little olive oil so that it doesn't stick. I've lined my roasting pan with foil so that it's a really quick cleanup, but you don't have to do that if you don't want to, and then, you just wanna toss it a little bit so that each spear gets a little bit of that coating on it. It's kind of important to spread your asparagus out so it's in more of a single layer. Pop it into a 450-degree oven and roast it for about 8 to 10 minutes or until it's nice and golden brown, and tender, and when I roast it, I like to toss it once during the roasting time just to make sure that it's all nice and coated. Once it's done roasting, it's gonna look like this, nice and brown and really tender. What I like to do while it's roasting? Is make up a little buffet of toppers so that everyone can choose a kind of what flavors they want to go with it. So I've got some purchased peanut sauce, some orange sections, and a little bit of soy sauce which I've stirred in some fresh ginger. You can use ground ginger if you have that at home or even some crushed red pepper to give it a little kick. Here's a great way to serve asparagus next time you're entertaining.