Roasted Asparagus with Sugarcoated Sunflower Seeds

Some things are best kept simple. My sister-in-law cooked up the most delicious roasted asparagus the other day and I was reminded of how little you have to do to bring out the natural flavors in most foods. Asparagus is a prime example of this! For this effortless, summery dish, I’ve paired asparagus roasted in olive oil and sea salt with the nutty flavor of sunflower seeds that have been lightly toasted in sugar. The combination is rich in texture, color and of course, flavor, and it all takes only a few minutes to prepare.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • one bunch asparagus, rinsed and trimmed at the bottoms
  • one clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1-2 tsp granulated sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl or pan, toss the asparagus with the garlic, some olive oil and sea salt. Once coated, lay the asparagus on a baking sheet.

Asparagus and garlic make a lovely pair

On the pan, ready for roasting

Turn your oven onto the high broil setting. Broil the asparagus until bright green and tender. This could take as little as 10 minutes but watch your oven closely since cooking times will vary. Partway through the roasting process, turn the asparagus for an even cook.

In the meantime, place the sunflower seeds in a pan over dry heat. After a minute or so, add in the sugar. Cook until the seeds are golden brown and all the sugar has been caramelized onto them. Be sure to stir and move the seeds around continuously while they toast.