To me, this is a side dish that pairs with almost anything. It's virtually impossible to mess up, and requires very little prep. It looks really impressive when you take it out as the "raft," and is interactive for your guests as they remove it from the skewer.
Technique tip: Skewering the asparagus spears together makes them easier to flip and easier to cook evenly.
Swap option: This also works very well with baby zucchini or carrots. For baby zucchini, I would recommend slicing them in half lengthwise before skewering to create greater surface area.
- 2 bunches thick asparagus spears (about 24)
- 4 wooden skewers
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Flaky sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Snap off the ends of the asparagus where they break, then trim all the stalks to the same length. Line half the spears up side by side, and thread 2 skewers through the aligned spears to hold them all together like a raft. Repeat with the remaining spears and skewers.
3. Place the "rafts" on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the rafts with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the rafts for 10 minutes. Turn the rafts over and roast for another 10 minutes or until tender but still crunch. Pile the rafts onto a warmed platter and let your guests slide a few spears onto their plates.