Roasting asparagus at a high temperature concentrates its flavor and guarantees a tender—but not mushy—texture. To ensure crunchy crumbs, sprinkle them on just before serving.
- 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, 18 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a platter.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice and zest. Season with salt.
- Top asparagus with breadcrumbs, and garnish with lemon.