I am a huge asparagus fan, and I’m also a huge balsamic vinegar fan.  Put the two together and I’m a very happy girl.
I am amazed at how easy it is to prepare roasted asparagus, and we eat our share of it around here, especially in the spring time!
 My favorite is tender, small stalks of asparagus.  They roast so quickly and make the perfect snack or side dish.  I will make a pan of it and just set it out after school for the kids to come grab and eat.  No plates needed!
To prepare the asparagus, simply snap the tough end off the bottom, it usually is about an inch.  You could cut them too, which is what I do because it is faster.  I simply gather them together and lop off the thick end. Wash, cut the end, pat dry. The pat part is important…you want them to roast, not steam. Drizzle with some olive oil–about 4 tablespoons.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until tender.  You will know they are done when the parts touching the pan are a bit brown. 
Once you remove the asparagus from the oven, drizzle with Trader Joe’s Trader Giotto’s Balsamic Glaze and toss. If there is not a Trader Joes close to you, you can order some here at Amazon, OR just use your favorite balsamic vinegar.  It won’t be as thick or sweet, but it will still taste delicious.  If a thicker glaze is what you want, here is a recipe for Homemade Balsamic Glaze.
I love tossing the asparagus in the glaze, then making impressive design drizzles on the plate.  Isn’t it so pretty?
 
Make sure you do not over-roast.  You want it tender but not soggy, and no blackened tips!
Enjoy with your favorite pasta dish, as a brunch side dish, or as a simple snack.