One of the most frequent questions I get is, “what should I serve on the side?” To be honest, I don’t give a lot of thought to my side dishes. I keep them as simple as possible to let the main dish shine and to just keep life simple. So I wanted to post some of my go-to no-brainer side dishes that go with just about anything, like this Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes, so you can have a bank of simple, versatile options to choose from!
Pictured with Garlic Butter Baked Cod.
Tips for Roasting Anything
Roasting Time Will Vary. Roasting time varies with the size and shape of your vegetables, your oven settings (they’re all a little different), and your cookware. When roasting anything make sure to keep an eye on it. I usually let it do its thing for the first 20 minutes, then check every 5-10 minutes after that until it reaches the level of doneness I like.
Don’t Skimp on Oil. The oil helps the vegetables caramelize without drying out. Too little oil and your vegetables will turn out more like dehydrated vegetables than roasted vegetables (leathery and not very browned).
Don’t Overcrowd The Pan. If you’re trying to roast a LOT of vegetables, go ahead and split it up between two pans. Too many vegetables in one place will trap the steam and cause your vegetables to stew in their own juices instead of caramelize.
How To Season Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes
I like to keep the seasoning on my roasted vegetable side dishes as simple as possible. Like salt and pepper simple. This allows me to taste the nuances of the vegetables themselves, and keeps them from competing with the main dish. Occasionally I’ll add some garlic, like I did for the tomatoes here, or if I’m doing something more simple for the main, I might add my favorite spice blend to the vegetables. Just don’t overthink it! Keep it simple.
Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes
Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes is an easy, all-purpose side dish that pairs great with many main dishes, like meat, fish, pasta, and more.
- 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.29)
- 1 lb. asparagus ($2.99)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- salt and pepper to taste ($0.05)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice off any dry or woody ends from the asparagus spears (usually about the bottom inch or so).
Spread the asparagus spears out over half of a large baking sheet. Add the grape tomatoes to the other half. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over each side. Toss the vegetables to coat in the oil.
Add the minced garlic to the tomatoes and toss to combine. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to each of the vegetables.
Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, then give them a stir. Return the vegetables to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Stir again, then continue to roast, checking every five minutes, until the vegetables have reached your desired level of doneness (35 minutes total roasting time for me). If one vegetable finishes before the other, simply remove it from the baking sheet and finish roasting the other.
After roasting, taste the vegetables and season one last time with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice off any dry or woody ends from the asparagus. Spread the asparagus out on one side of the baking sheet and the tomatoes on the other. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over each side and toss to coat in the oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic to the tomatoes, and toss to combine.
Season the asparagus and tomatoes with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
Roast the asparagus and tomatoes in the preheated 400ºF oven for 20 minutes, then give it a good stir (pictured: after 20 minutes of roasting).
Return the asparagus and tomatoes to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Stir again, then continue to roast, checking on the vegetables every 5 minutes, until they reach your desired level of doneness. I roasted mine for 35 minutes total, but the time will vary depending on the size and shape of your vegetables. Taste the roasted asparagus and tomatoes and season one last time with salt and pepper! Serve with your favorite main dish!