I had been craving mashed potatoes too so I mixed these up with some of the tasty (and nutritious) red skins still on. Since my chive plant is taking over my planter, I threw in a big handful on those too. The little flecks of purple and green were just perfect and more than satisfied my craving. Asparagus has become my new favorite vegetable. I love to roast it with lemon zest grated over it like freshly fallen snow.
Roasted Asparagus with Lemon
1 lb (more or less) thick fresh asparagus
7-8 tbslp olive oil
2 pinches of kosher salt
several turns on your peppermill
fine lemon zest of 1 medium-sized lemon
Depending on how nice your asparagus is, trim the ends and just peel with a vegetable peeler the woody outside part. This make it quite a bit tender on the ends and you don't have to waste the ends as much as you would if you did the 'bend-the-stalk-and-see-where-it-snaps' method. Lay the stalks out in a pan lined with foil for easy clean up. Drizzle lots of olive oil over the top but don't drown the asparagus. You want all the stalks to be covered so get your hands in there and mix it all around. Sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper and again get your hands dirty. I use a fine microplane (PamperedChef what?) to get a good fine snow-like zest. You can get a lot more this way than with a zester and you don't have to bother with fine chopping or big pieces of zest. Sometimes I also finely grate Parmesan over the top and mix it all together too. Fontina is also good or even some crushed garlic. Just lemon is simple and tastes so fresh alone. Roast in the oven on about 350 I guess until it is fork tender or to whatever doneness preferred. Please don't overcook to mushy! The fresh lemon smell will hit you when you open the door.