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Lemon Butter Asparagus Spears

about 10 minutes. Cook
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Introduction:
As spring emerges, so does the vibrant bounty of fresh produce. One vegetable that truly shines during this season is asparagus. Its tender, vibrant green spears make for a delightful addition to any meal. Today, we’re going to explore a classic and mouthwatering recipe: Lemon Butter Asparagus Spears. This dish combines the earthy flavor of asparagus with the bright zestiness of lemon and the richness of butter, creating a symphony of tastes and textures that will elevate your dining experience. But before we dive into the recipe, let’s delve into a bit of history surrounding asparagus.

Historical Context: Asparagus, often referred to as the “queen of vegetables,” has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It was prized by the ancient Egyptians and Romans for its delicate flavor and purported medicinal properties. In fact, the word “asparagus” is derived from the Greek word “aspharagos,” which means “sprout” or “shoot.” It was considered a delicacy by the French and English royalty during the Renaissance, further cementing its status as a gourmet vegetable.

Preparation:

Step 1: Prepare the Asparagus Begin by washing the asparagus spears under cold running water to remove any dirt or grit. Then, using a chef’s knife, trim about an inch off the tough, woody ends of the asparagus. You can also use a vegetable peeler to gently peel the bottom inch of the spears if they are particularly thick, although this step is optional.

Step 2: Melt the Butter In a large skillet, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.

Step 3: Sauté the Garlic Add the minced garlic to the melted butter and sauté for about 1-2 minutes until it becomes fragrant and just starts to turn golden. Be careful not to let it brown too much, as it can become bitter.

Step 4: Cook the Asparagus Now, add the prepared asparagus spears to the skillet with the garlic and butter. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sauté the asparagus for about 5-7 minutes, or until they become tender but still crisp. The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears, so keep an eye on them.

Step 5: Add Lemon Zest and Juice Once the asparagus is cooked to your desired level of tenderness, sprinkle the lemon zest over the spears and drizzle them with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Gently toss the asparagus to ensure the lemon zest and juice are evenly distributed and coat the spears with that delightful lemony flavor.

Step 6: Serve and Garnish Transfer the Lemon Butter Asparagus Spears to a serving platter, arranging them neatly. If you’d like, garnish the dish with lemon wedges for an extra burst of citrus freshness. Serve immediately while the asparagus is still warm and the flavors are at their peak.

Conclusion: The Lemon Butter Asparagus Spears recipe is a celebration of spring’s finest offerings. The crisp asparagus, sautéed to perfection in fragrant garlic butter and adorned with the zesty brightness of lemon, is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. Whether served as an elegant side dish or the star of the meal, this recipe is a timeless classic that captures the essence of seasonal cooking.

Asparagus, with its long and storied history, continues to be a beloved vegetable cherished for its unique flavor and nutritional benefits. So, next time you find yourself with a bunch of fresh asparagus in hand, give this recipe a try and savor the taste of spring on your plate.

staffcontributor
prep time
approximately 10 minutes.
cooking time
about 10 minutes.
servings
4
total time
around 20 minutes.

Equipment

  • Chef's knife

  • Vegetable peeler

  • Large skillet

  • Wooden spoon or spatula

  • Zester or fine grater

  • Juicer

  • Garlic press (or mincing knife)

  • Tongs

  • Serving platter

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus spears (approximately 1 pound)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1
Wash and trim asparagus.
2
Melt butter and sauté garlic.
3
Cook asparagus with seasoning.
4
Finish with lemon zest and juice.
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