Broiled Asparagus With Pecorino and Pepper

broiled asparagus with pecorino and pepper

The Spruce / Pete Scherer

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
66 Calories
6g Fat
3g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 66
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 154mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 140mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

So many cuisines use asparagus thanks to its versatility and flavor. Its strength lies in its simplicity. Because it shines so brightly on its own, it’s a great side dish that’s quick and easy to prepare. Great as part of a veggie smorgasbord, it also lightens meat courses with its distinctive sweetness.

Not only is asparagus tasty, but it’s one of the fastest cooking vegetables. Most preparations take less than 10 minutes from stove to table. This simple recipe will be a favorite at all types of occasions because it can accompany all kinds of other sides, like roasted beets, roasted purple potatoes, or even with grilled Moroccan flank steak.

Asparagus is a lovely vegetable, but it is easily overcooked. This is particularly true of the thinnest, most tender and delicate spears, which are also often the most delicious. A short time under the broiler adds depth of flavor and texture, without reducing the spears to the dull green, soggy mush of your asparagus nightmares.

There are no specific quantities given in this recipe because they’re not really needed. Focus on the asparagus and everything will turn out fine. You can easily substitute Parmigiano, ricotta salata, or even aged gouda for the pecorino, or just skip the cheese entirely and focus on the asparagus.

Ingredients

  • 24 spears thin, young, fresh asparagus, trimmed

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup shaved Pecorino Romano cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Set your broiler to high.

  3. Place the trimmed asparagus on a foil-lined sheet pan and drizzle with a little olive oil, just enough to very thinly coat the spears.

  4. Put the asparagus under the broiler, checking and turning periodically, until the skin slightly wrinkles and the heads sizzle, seven to ten minutes. Remove from oven.

  5. Plate asparagus. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Scatter shaved pecorino over the top and serve.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Tips

To achieve the very best flavor and texture, here are a few suggestions about what to aim for:

  • Get the freshest asparagus possible.
  • The spears should be straight and perky. No limp spears allowed.
  • Inspect the cut ends and reject any that are dry or split.
  • Thin asparagus tends to be sweeter and more tender, while thicker stalks are more meaty and savory.
  • Don’t store asparagus for long. Use within one or two days of purchase. If you need to store it for a little longer, trim the ends and stand the spears in shallow water in the refrigerator, loosely covered with a plastic bag. Refresh the water every day. Dry the spears with paper towels before roasting, and trim the ends.