The other day I made some broiled filets and while at the store I found some nice looking asparagus. Odd for this time of year, but heck it looked great. So I picked it up. Since I was using the oven for broiling I needed to come up with another way of making asparagus instead of roasting it. After a few minutes, I realized that steaming it and seasoning it afterwords would be perfect. Not only is this dish tasty, it is quick and extremely easy.
Garnish with a little lemon zest and you have a 15 minute side.
- 1 bunch of asparagus (approx 1lb)
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper
The first step is to setup your steamer. You can use a collapsible steamer basket in a deep pan or a steamer insert for a large pot. You can even use a electric steamer.
When choosing asparagus for this recipe try to find the thinnest pieces that you can. Steaming larger pieces takes a long time and takes away some of the flavor due to the extended amount of time needed to steam them. Save the large pieces for the grill or baking. Once you have the perfect asparagus picked out you should trim the asparagus ends. The ends can be a little bit woody and tough, so they have to go. I usually cut the stem about an inch from the end. If you leave the asparagus in a bunch held by a rubber band then you can cut all of them at once. Once you have them all cut, remove the rubber band and then wash the asparagus. Normally they are pretty clean but they can have a few dirt particles hiding in the tips.
Place the asparagus in the steamer and cook until tender. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus.
While the asparagus is steaming zest the lemon. Then cut the lemon in half and keep it handy to dress the asparagus. Keep the other half for water or cocktails. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Next dice the garlic cloves as fine as you can. You want these to be small as they are going raw onto the asparagus. Large pieces will overpower the dish and could turn your guests off to the dish all together. So dice fine.
When the asparagus is tender remove it from the steamer and place it into a bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic, 1/2 of the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Squeeze the half lemon over the asparagus. Don’t squeeze it all right now. Toss the asparagus lightly to coat with the seasonings. Taste and see if it could use a little more lemon for acidity. If so, add a bit more and toss again.
Finally transfer the asparagus to your serving plate, garnish with the remaining lemon zest and enjoy.