Zesty Asparagus with Sumac


I used to steam or stir-fry asparagus until I discovered that roasting is much easier and more flavorful. For roasting, thicker asparagus is better because thin ones get mushy very quickly.  Keep an eye on the cooking time as it may vary, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. If you do not have sumac called by this recipe, try a different spice or just omit spice and increase salt and pepper a bit for seasoning — the asparagus will still come out deliciously. The asparagus can be served as a side dish (I often serve it with crusted salmon). It can also be used alongside a salad, or as an appetizer with a simple dip.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 7 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus

Yield: 6 servings


  • Asparagus, about 30 spears, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Optionally, 1 teaspoon sumac or your preferred spice


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus. Pat dry thoroughly after wash to avoid steaming during roasting.
  • Spread out the asparagus into a single layer over a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with the olive oil, and then sprinkle with sumac, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the asparagus completely.
  • Roast the asparagus for 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender but still crisp.

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