Here's A Sign To Start Roasting Asparagus In Your Toaster Oven

roasted asparagus with nuts
roasted asparagus with nuts - Clarkandcompany/Getty Images

You've probably used your toaster oven to, well, make toast -- and already know it's a go-to appliance for reheating food. Heck, you've probably used it to bake the occasional small batch of cookies. Well, add a new superpower to the humble but handy toaster oven: roasting. It turns out these things are indispensable for roasting about two servings of asparagus -- perfect for a date night dinner. This frees up your free-standing oven to do other things or nothing at all. And while the asparagus roasting time will be the same, using the smaller appliance doesn't need nearly the same amount of time to preheat and requires less cleanup.

You might think that any uses beyond toasting and reheating would be the province of what's known as a countertop oven -- larger appliances that can not only roast and bake, but broil and air fry as well -- but that's not true. Toaster ovens are perfectly able to handle the job of roasting asparagus; the only limitation will be the number of servings you can make at a time. (And if your interest is piqued, here are the 12 absolute best toaster ovens to splurge on.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

The Right Tool For The Right Job

retro white toaster oven
retro white toaster oven

Toaster ovens are great space savers; small enough to fit under the cabinets on your kitchen countertop but large enough to handle several different applications. At their most compact, toaster ovens are as little as 17 inches wide with around a ⅓ cubic-foot interior. Even with this modest size, the baking pan of a typical toaster oven can hold about ½ lb of trimmed asparagus in an even layer -- enough to yield two servings. (It's vital to only roast a single layer of asparagus because stacking the stalks will cause them to steam.)

Technology's come a long way since you made cinnamon toast in your grandparents' toaster oven. Even modestly-priced modern versions boast pretty impressive features, including the ability to bake (or roast) without preheating as well as temperature control sensors and automatic shut-off. In addition -- especially if lined with aluminum foil -- cleaning a little toaster oven pan will be the work of a moment. So, roasting a batch of delicious asparagus will be quick and easy as long as you've done your prep work right.

Common Roasted Asparagus Mistakes

bundles of fresh asparagus
bundles of fresh asparagus - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

People have opinions about everything, and will often share those opinions with you. For asparagus, some people swear by the "snap" method of removing the stalk's woody base, but that's actually wasteful. Yes, an asparagus stalk will snap if bent, but where it snaps depends on its thickness and freshness. Not only that, but it's as likely to break off perfectly edible parts. Trim your asparagus with a knife instead, cutting about one or two inches up from the base of the stalk.

People also often overdo the next step in the asparagus-roasting process: Coating them with oil. Yes, you need a little fat (preferably a good olive oil) for flavor and evenness of cooking, but using too much will make your vegetables soggy. Better to add more oil later (although you probably won't need to) than to bathe the things like they're about to be fried. After that (and just the right amount of salt and freshly ground pepper), into the toaster oven they go -- reason enough to learn the mason jar hack for extending the life of your asparagus.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.