Asparagus season is a short one, but oh boy how enjoyable it is. I love fresh asparagus and to be completely honest – I often end up just snacking on raw asparagus before I get to cooking them. Sometimes I don’t even have anything left to cook… But some other times I am patient enough to start cooking and today were one of those days.
Asparagus only needs gentle cooking and overcooking them does not make them any favors, but rather turns the gentle crunchy sprigs to stringy and tough. Less is more also applies to seasoning them. No need to overcrowd it with flavors – a simple buttery sauce is enough.
And about the sauce – I highly recommend having a chunk of crusty bread to mop up all the sauce from the plate because you do not want to waste even one drop of that.
P.S. Outside of the short asparagus season, this sauce is also nice with blanched green beans.
Asparagus with Lemon and Golden Almonds
Serves: 2 as an appetizer or side
Cooking time: 20 min
7 oz green asparagus
¼ cup blanched almonds
1 ½ tbsp butter
The juice and zest of 1 large lemon
A few sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Start with toasting the almonds on a dry pan until golden. I recommend using medium heat and shaking the pan now and then to make sure they cook evenly. It takes a few minutes in total. Set aside. To skip this step, you can just use almonds that are already toasted. Chop the slightly cooled almonds roughly.
Increase the heat and add the trimmed asparagus to the same pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes (depending on the size) until slightly toasty and gently cooked through. Alternatively, you can grill them outside. Make sure you do not overcook them. Set aside and season with salt.
Keep using the same pan (nobody likes doing dishes) and reduce the heat to a medium again. Melt the butter, thyme, lemon zest, and almonds and cook until the butter is frothy and slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper, then squeeze in the lemon juice (be careful about the splatter) and pour the almondy-buttery-lemony topping over the asparagus.
Enjoy warm as an appetizer or a snack or make a full meal out of it by adding gently cooked fish.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee.
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