Make-Ahead Asparagus


by Nov 9th, 2010 // Dinner

Make-Ahead Asparagus

The other day when we were at a restaurant my kid’s seat was facing a huge chalkboard listing of the daily specials. He looked at it and then looked at me excitedly while screaming “my name is on that sign!” I was preparing to let him down gently (he’s just learning to read) when I realized right there on the sign were the words “Asparagus Soup.” Asapara-GUS. As in, GUS. Which is indeed my kid’s name.

This morning I told him I had a surprise food in the fridge. I handed him an asparagus bunch and he lit right up. It’s his signature veggie!

I put him to work snapping off the tough stems. What could be better for a boy than to be permitted to break things? Made my job a heck of a lot easier too.

What I love most about this recipe is that I actually prefer it when it’s been refrigerated and then spritzed with lemon right before serving. It’s the perfect make-ahead veggie for turkey day! Now for the recipe…

Make-Ahead Asparagus Recipe

Thanksgiving Planning: Make 1 to 2 days ahead

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 10 to 25 mins

2 bunches of asparagus
2 to 3 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
olive oil for drizzling
salt & fresh ground pepper
juice of 1 lemon
shaved Parmesan (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and pat dry the asparagus. Snap off the tough parts of the asparagus and spread on a single layer on a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the asparagus and roll around to just coat. The amount of olive oil will depend on how thick your asparagus is. Don’t drown it. Sprinkle the garlic on top and then add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes and check for doneness. Thinner asparagus will already be brown and tender. Thicker asparagus may need anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes more. Continue to check every 5 minutes until the asparagus is browning and tender but  not soft. Let cool and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to eat, transfer to a platter and spritz with fresh lemon juice. Add a dusting of shaved Parmesan if desired and serve cold or at room temperature.

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41 Comments on “Make-Ahead Asparagus”

  1. 1.) Momma McCall
    November 9th, 2010

    I love asparagus and being able to make any of the Thanksgiving dishes ahead of time is a treat! Great post!

  2. 2.) buddysaves
    November 9th, 2010

    I've never had asparagus with lemon before. I want to try it!

  3. 3.) Megan
    November 9th, 2010

    It sounds like a great spring time side too 😉

  4. 4.) Dana
    November 9th, 2010

    mmm my mom makes something like this, but because we keep Kosher, she never puts parmesan on it! It looks yummy though!

  5. 5.) Rebecca
    November 9th, 2010

    That is fantastic. I would never think of serving them cold or at room temperature. I like that idea. More refreshing as a side, especially with the lemon. Yum!

  6. 6.) Pam
    November 9th, 2010

    if i have another kid i'm totally naming her kale.

  7. 7.) Gina
    November 9th, 2010

    The shaved Parmesan is a great idea! We've been doing olive oil and Feta for far too long.

  8. 8.) souzalito
    November 9th, 2010

    That is so cool! You have a little reader!

  9. 9.) Mariela
    November 10th, 2010

    Great alternative to green bean casserole!!

  10. 10.) Kate
    November 10th, 2010

    Making it tonight!

  11. 11.) sherrye
    November 10th, 2010

    I don't usually like tattoos but the temporary on Gus is adorable. Bet it helps with snapping asparaGUS.
    My friend serves a variety of well seasoned veggies at room temp as a first course many evenings. It is a great way to start company dinner as people get to pass and know each other. This will be a perfect addition.

  12. 12.) CookingWithMyKid
    November 10th, 2010

    wow, GUS, you are totally amazing….how observant for you to
    point out your name in asparaGUS. this veggie has always been
    a favorite of mine but now i'll always associate it with you. thanks
    for the eye opener!

  13. 13.) Kelley Petkun
    November 10th, 2010

    Umm, lemon and Parmesan! And, it can be served hot or cold. What a versatile dish!

  14. 14.) Melody
    November 10th, 2010

    Asparagus with lemon is my favorite way to make it!

  15. 15.) Ailene C.
    November 10th, 2010

    This is just what I needed, as I'll be traveling to family and want to bring something easy that won't take up cooking space in the kitchen. Thanks!

  16. 16.) Shelly aka Cateyes
    November 10th, 2010

    OK, this is a winner also. NOTE: Never buy the asparagus cuts in the bag. YUCK, they put all those hard stems you had your son to break off in there, LOL.

  17. 17.) Min
    November 10th, 2010

    Our boys love asparagus! Thanks for the tips.

  18. 18.) Anna B.
    November 10th, 2010

    This is basically how I usually make asparagus, but I like to use black pepper & sesame seeds. Totally the best veggie ever!

  19. 19.) Laura
    November 10th, 2010

    The garlic is a new twist for me and my favorite veggie asparagus. Will try asap!

  20. 20.) Katrina
    November 10th, 2010

    I love asparagus! I'll bet adding the cheese may get my little guy to like it too!

  21. 21.) Jeannette
    November 10th, 2010

    Yum! This sounds great for a regular weekday veggie — not just for Turkey Day! I'm always looking for more cook-ahead dinner options so that the dreaded crazy dinner hour is a little less hectic. Thanks for the great idea!

  22. 22.) Vicki
    November 10th, 2010

    I'm always looking for new ways to make asparagus!! Love it and this looks yummy!! 🙂


  23. 23.) Lenexicon
    November 10th, 2010

    I always think of asparagus as being an Easter veggie. Interesting twist, serving it for Thanksgiving.

  24. 24.) Tina
    November 10th, 2010

    Sounds easy. All of your recipes are explained so well, and use easy to find ingredients. I visit your site every day and have made many of your dishes. As a beginning cook I really appreciate the clear instructions.

  25. 25.) Cara
    November 10th, 2010

    I love the idea of having asparaGUS! at Thanksgiving! Never thought about it before!

  26. 26.) Kali Garofoli
    November 10th, 2010

    nice way of adding a veggie to thanksgiving that kiddos can love.

  27. 27.) @BeardedPansy
    November 10th, 2010

    asparaGUS ~ my favorite! (ps: love the tattoo! lol!)

  28. 28.) Cathbones
    November 10th, 2010

    Yum! I love asparaGUS too!

  29. 29.) Nicole
    November 10th, 2010

    i loooove do-aheads! and also cold asparagus.

  30. 30.) Angela
    November 10th, 2010

    This looks yummy!

  31. 31.) Miranda
    November 10th, 2010

    My hubby and I will love this!

  32. 32.) Reser's Blog
    November 10th, 2010

    […] Sample recipe: Make-Ahead Asparagus […]

  33. 33.) KGG
    November 11th, 2010

    Great tip!!

  34. 34.) Susie
    November 11th, 2010

    I've always been one to nibble on cold leftover aparagus, but never thought to serve it that way on purpose. We'll definetly try this one.

  35. 35.) Michelle
    November 11th, 2010

    I have made aspargus similar to this and I love it! However, I have never tried it after it cools off! Sounds good!

  36. 36.) deebo
    November 11th, 2010

    i have a bundle of asparagus just waiting for me to roast as you did. yummmms.

  37. 37.) Kim - Liv Life
    November 11th, 2010

    Asparagus is one of our favorites, and with it plentiful at our local Farmers Market I was thinking of having it for Thanksgiving, but hadn't thought about the make ahead idea. Excellent! I usually grill mine with similar seasoning.
    The photos of your son made me smile! My "little" one is now 6 inches taller than I am and not interested in making anything but burritos lately, but your photos remind me of years past. Thank you!

  38. 38.) Ashley
    November 11th, 2010

    Simple and delish. I made this for my family and they really enjoyed it.

  39. 39.) Name (required)Lucy
    November 11th, 2010

    Anything to make day of prep easier!

  40. 40.) Jess B.
    November 11th, 2010

    This sounds delicious. I don't typically associate asparagus with Thanksgiving dinner, but I might have to start after trying this recipe.

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