roasted asparagus with thyme, lemon and parmesan

Growing up in a Gujarati household meant being introduced to all kinds of vegetables. The “meatless meals” concept was practiced in our home long before the current fad. In fact, two-thirds of our meals were easily meatless. In the early years when we first arrived in Canada (in the 70s), there were no Indian grocery stores in Montréal so my parents would scour out Caribbean  and Asian stores for vegetables not typically found at the local grocery chains.
roasted asparagus with thyme, lemon and parmesan | conifères & feuillus
Much to my dismay, there, they would find the treasures they were looking for. We ate things like bitter gourd curry and okra curry.  Later on with the establishment of small Indian shops in Montréal, there were even more exotic vegetables to add to our diet like the ivy gourd (tindora) and “drumsticks” of the moringa tree.  And when my parents couldn’t get enough of their “Indian” vegetables, they would experiment making curries with typical North American vegetables that were not typically used in Gujarati cuisine like broccoli and celery.  How they overlooked asparagus, I don’t know. But this sort of vegetable was right up their alley; green, healthy, slightly obscure and not exactly palatable to a 10-year-old.

I would be well into adulthood when I would try these for the first time and by then having a more refined palate I didn’t mind yet another vegetable.
roasted asparagus with thyme, lemon and parmesan | conifères & feuillus
We are lucky to get imported asparagus all year round, but my favorite time to enjoy asparagus is of course when they are in season here in Québec. Local asparagus are one of the first green produce to arrive at the market but sadly, by July, they are gone. Although my husband is quite content with eating them steamed, I prefer them roasted. (Actually, this is how I like a lot of my vegetables; well, except for the Indian ones which are always best in a curry.)

roasted asparagus with thyme, lemon and parmesan | conifères & feuillusAsparagus still remain slightly overlooked; amongst other vegetables, they are the less popular. But delicious nevertheless. They are fleshy vegetables. When you bite into them, there is substance there. Roasting adds some crispiness and brings out their flavour. Here I have paired them with thyme and lemon, and topped them with a sprinkle of parmesan.roasted asparagus with thyme, lemon and parmesan | conifères & feuillus
roasted asparagus with thyme, lemon and parmesan | conifères & feuillus

Roasted Asparagus with Thyme, Lemon and Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and dry asparagus with a tea towel. Trim ends (or remove when eating).
  3. Lay the asparagus flat in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Gently brush with avocado or sunflower oil, turning them to coat them all around. Season with salt, pepper.
  5. Roast for 20-30 minutes, turning once halfway until they are lightly browned all around.  I like to sprinkle with fresh thyme, lemon juice and parmesan cheese when done.

Growing up in a Gujarati household meant being introduced to all kinds of vegetables. The “meatless meals” concept was practiced in our home long before the current fad. In fact, two-thirds of our meals were easily meatless. In the early years when we first arrived in Canada (in the 70s), there were no Indian grocery stores in Montréal so my parents would scour out Caribbean  and Asian stores for vegetables not typically found at the local grocery chains.

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