It's National Asparagus Day! You may remember hating asparagus as a child, but chances are, like most vegetable from our youth, it was simply steamed or warmed from a can. Though still nutritious, this way of preparing and serving asparagus simply isn’t palatable to most people.

Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that is harvested in the spring and can be grown in home gardens. However, it takes two years for the crowns to become established and produce a crop, so it is a time commitment. After it starts producing on its third year, the asparagus plants should produce for 10 to 15 years, according to Utah State University Yard and Garden Extension.

Asparagus is prized for its delicate flavor and nutritional content. Asparagus is high in vitamin C, A, Iron, and low in sodium. There are thousands of recipes that incorporate asparagus, from salads to pizza. However, if you want to serve it as a stand-alone dish, this is my favorite preparation method:

  • Fresh Asparagus Spears
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tough bottoms off each spear and arrange them flat on a baking sheet. Drizzle the spears with olive oil and sprinkle on the shredded parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Roast until spears are fork tender and browned on the bottoms and tops.

I personally prefer asparagus to be quite tender and crispy on the edges, so I select skinny spears at the grocery store and cook them for a long time. However, you can cook them to your desired tenderness/crispiness.