Ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated asparagus, a member of the Lily family, more than 2,000 years ago. American colonists brought the vegetable with them to the New World. One serving (5.3 ounces) of asparagus provides several B vitamins as well as protein, fiber and vitamins A, C and E, according to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. Baked asparagus is an easy and delicious way to enjoy this nutritious vegetable. You do not have to heat the kitchen using the big oven. Asparagus bakes nicely in a toaster oven.
Things You'll Need
Select fresh asparagus spears for best flavor and nutrition. They should have a bright green or purplish color and tightly closed tips that have not wilted. Choose spears of similar thickness for even cooking.
Cut off the tough, woody stem and rinse the spears to remove any dirt.
Place the spears in a glass oven dish that can go from oven to table. This recipe is not one that you can transfer from a baking pan to a serving platter. It will fall apart.
Melt butter and brush on the spears until completely coated. Set the remaining butter aside.
Sprinkle a dash of salt over the asparagus. If you are on a salt-free diet, then skip this step.
Crumble the feta cheese and then layer it over the asparagus. Evenly distribute the cheese so the flavor permeates the entire spear.
Pour breadcrumbs over the cheese and spears.
Drizzle the rest of the melted butter over the breadcrumbs. Butter will flavor and brown them.
Bake asparagus for 10 minutes at 400 F, or until the breadcrumbs have lightly browned. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
If the asparagus has wilted slightly since you bought it, then place the spears in ice water for 5 minutes. It will rehydrate them.
References and ResourcesMichigan Asparagus Advisory Board: Facts About Asparagus
What's Cooking America: All About Asparagus
Cornell University Cooperative Extension: May is National Asparagus Month
Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board: Nutrition Information