Growing up in the south, for some reason i dont think i ever had fresh asparagus until i was an adult living in dc. Prior to that i only had asparagus occasionally and it was from the can. My grandmother simply put salt and pepper on it. I dont remember the first time i had it fresh but i still find myself shocked about how different fresh versus canned tastes.
The first best asparagus i ever had was made by lawyer/legal consultant Professor Paul Butler in Washington DC some years ago. Besides asparagus, he’d grilled corn with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice. So thats the basis of this recipe. For some reason, i like asparagus to be seasoned rather simply. I usually steam it or saute it. I tried baking it this time because 3 bunches was a lot to steam or saute.
So heres what i did: Preheat oven to 350. I cut off the hard parts of the asparagus ends. Then i cut the stalks into thirds so the pieces were about 2 to 3 inches. Put the asparagus into a big mixing bowl Cover the broiler tray (the one that comes with the oven!) with foil.
On the side, in a measuring cup i mixed about 2/3 cup of olive oil with enough lemon and lime juice for it to add up to a half cup. Then i added 2 tsps of crushed garlic and some salt, pepper, and maybe about a tablespoon or 2 of McCormick California Style Lemon Pepper seasoning.
Pour the “sauce” over the asparagus. Toss it to mix it and then take the asparagus out and put it on the tray. Check it when it starts to smell. I think the total cooktime was about 7 mins. Mine came out green, flavorful and still with the right amount of crunch.