Why This Recipe Works
We roasted relatively thick asparagus spears on a preheated baking sheet in a 500-degree oven, which ensured that they browned deeply and quickly. Not moving the spears during cooking allowed them to get a rich sear on one side and remain vibrant green on the other, which helped them retain their freshness and tender snap. We trimmed the base of the spears with a knife and peeled away their tough skin to reduce waste. Fresh garnishes would enhance the stalks’ vibrancy, so we whipped up a gremolata, the Italian minced-herb condiment usually made with lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. But instead of the classic profile, we took a broader approach and came up with variations that traded the lemon zest for orange or lime zest and some of the parsley for mint, tarragon, or cilantro.