Except me! As much as I appreciate the beautiful St. Louis-grown asparagus, I love that good asparagus can be found at the grocery store both "before" and "after" our own growing season. There are just so many great ways to cook asparagus.
And when it comes to fat-fat spears of asparagus, oh they're so good roasted! This is another simple treatment, just anise seed and salt and pepper. The anise draws something unexpected out of the asparagus -- and no, it's not 'licorice' or even licorice flavor. It's a keeper.
See the little white bowl? A year ago Christmas, a very generous Santa gave me a gift certificate to Cornucopia, the kitchen shop located in my little hometown downtown. A gift certificate turned out to be the perfect choice for a 'cook who has everything', or at least, everything she really wants. I've been surprised by the usefulness of the small mortar and pestle I selected: it's just big enough to grind a few spices, perfect for my needs. And it tucks easily into the cupboard for grabbing at the last minute.
FROM THE ARCHIVES Have you checked the Recipe Box for asparagus recipes recently? It's packed!
ROASTED ASPARAGUS with ANISE SEED
Time to table: 30 minutes (assumes oven takes 15 minutes to preheat)
1 pound fresh asparagus, preferably thick spears
1 tablespoon olive oil (or use an olive oil mister)
1/2 teaspoon anise seed, ground in a mortar & pestle or in a coffee grinder
Salt & pepper to taste (go light on the salt, it can overpower the anise)
Preheat oven to 450F.
Wash the asparagus, snap off the woody ends. Toss with oil, anise seed and salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet, with space between, and roast for about 10 minutes, turning once.