There's nothing like the first bite of asparagus in spring. This classic seasonal vegetable, with its sweet yet slightly bitter taste, is fresh and delicious no matter how it is prepared.
But this is the way I like to prepare it best. This quick cooking method preserves the vegetable's color, texture, and flavor, and leaves it crisp-tender and succulent.
Did you know that when you snap an asparagus spear in your fingers, it will automatically break at the point where the tender stem turns tough and woody? This super simple dish highlights this spring vegetable.
This side dish recipe doesn't need any other seasoning, although you could add some fresh thyme or dill if you'd like. Make sure that the asparagus is very fresh. When you buy it, it should be firm, with no soft or wet spots. The tips should be tightly closed, with no flowers showing.
- 1 pound asparagus (fresh)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Garnish: pepper (white)
- Wash the asparagus under cool running water, and trim the ends by snapping them where they break easily.
- The asparagus will break at the point between the tender tips and the tougher ends.
- Place the asparagus in a wide shallow saucepan and cover with cold water by 1/2".
- Place the pan on high heat and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and just crisp-tender.
- Drain thoroughly and return to the pan; add the butter.
- Heat over low heat just until the butter melts and coats the asparagus.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.