Asparagus in Parchment Packets

Asparagus season is still with us and thanks to Riverdog Farm, we get a beautiful bundle every week in our CSA box. After making tarts, risottos, salads, and lots of stir fries, I stumbled upon a new simple way to cook asparagus. For years, I steamed asparagus. A recent article in the NY Times addresses the problems with steaming, uneven cooking being the most common one. The much-respected Paula Wolfert suggests baking asparagus with herbs in parchment packets - this method makes for asparagus that is tender and infused with the flavor of herbs. Plus, I am a sucker for the charm of something wrapped in parchment.

If you are looking for a new asparagus technique to add to your repertoire, give this one a try. The method is easy and delicious.

adapted from the NY Times, April 16th , 2010
originally from Paula Wolfert’s “The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook"
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • a few sprigs of fresh herbs such as thyme, chervil, tarragon and/or dill
  • 1 piece of parchment
  • kitchen twine
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Wash and trim asparagus.

Drape parchment over a cookie sheet. Lay the asparagus in the middle of the paper - drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat the spears. Lay a few sprigs of herbs on top. Wrap the edges of the paper around the asparagus to enclose the veggies in a packet. Wrap with twine.

Transfer the packet of asparagus to the oven. After about 45 minutes, enough time to make the rest of your meal, your asparagus will be ready to eat. (The NY Times suggested an hour in the oven, but I thought the asparagus was overcooked. 45 minutes in the oven rendered the asparagus perfectly cooked for my taste.) If you like your asparagus a little more cooked, simply retie the parchment packet and return to the oven until it is done to your liking.


  1. I share your attraction to foods made in parchment. It's like sending yourself a present! I can't wait to try preparing my next farmers market purchase of asparagus this way.

  2. another beautiful and healthy asparagus creation from yummy supper :)

  3. Will have to give this a try. I love the idea of using parchment. Very fresh idea.

  4. Glad you guys like the idea. I thought it was too fun, easy, and tasty not to share!

  5. Another simple method is to blanche the asparagus in about 3/4" water in a frying pan for ~7 mins. Its a lovely bright green and if you have fat spears doing them in halves adding the tops after the bottoms have already cooked a bit prevents over cooked tips. Skinny is best though!

  6. Thank you! Trying this right now.


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