Baked Asparagus

Traditionally prepared by steaming, asparagus can also be boiled and/or baked. Buy firm asparagus spears that are completely closed at the bud end. Fat spears are just as tender as thin ones, if you peel them slightly. To peel, use a vegetable peeler and begin at the butt end, cutting more shallow as you near the tip end.

Fresh asparagus spears, peeled
Vera Jane's Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the spears in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil (1 tablespoon per ½ lb asparagus). Bake in a preheated 500°F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.

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