One of the quickest and easiest ways to prepare fresh asparagus is to simply blanch them for a couple of minutes and toss them with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and lemon zest. Boiling them for only a couple minutes ensures that they will be cooked through, but still crisp and vibrant green. Asparagus should have a gentle crunch to them; they should not be mushy.

A little lemon zest helps brighten the natural flavor of the asparagus, and the Parm and olive oil? Well, of course they make everything taste good.

Asparagus Recipe

  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1 bunch of medium sized asparagus, about 1 lb
  • 2 Tbsp of the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (omit if cooking vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest - freshly grated lemon rind
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Prepare the asparagus by rinsing them thoroughly, break off any tough, white bottoms and discard. Cut into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

2 Fill a medium sized saucepan half way with water, bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and reduce heat slightly to a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water. While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

Note that when you are working with so few ingredients, it's important to make sure they are of the highest quality.

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Showing 4 of 58 Comments

  • Sheeijan

    I just made this a few minutes ago – I’m sitting here enjoying it right now! It’s lovely. It tastes so fresh, it’s a wonderful summer recipe. The asparagus I had bought was pretty young and therefore thin, so I ended up using about 2 lbs. I liked it with a more subtle lemon and Parmesan cheese flavor anyway.

  • Brad

    I’ll have to try this. Aspsaragus is my favorite vegetable. One way that I like to cook it is to rub the spears down with oil and lightly salt and pepper them. Then, take about three spears and bundle them up with a slice of bacon. You could spiral wrap the bacon down the length of the spears, or wrap the bacon around the middle and tie it in a knot (this is typically what I do). Bake @ 350 until the bacon is cooked through. The flavor that the bacon fat imparts to the asparagus is out of this world. Then again, bacon fat gives just about anything an out of this world flavor. :)

  • Janni

    Lauren: How long do you bake the bacon wrapped asparagus? I tried this last night with blanched green beans and by the time the bacon got done, the tips of the green beans had transformed into dark, wizened tips. Not good. I even nuked the bacon for 1 minute before wrapping.

  • Rita

    I oven bake my asparagus with a mixture olive oil, crushed fresh garlic, salt, cracked black pepper and a little balsamic vinegar (using a large ziplock bag to coat the asparagus makes it easier). Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes or until it’s to the doneness you prefer. It’s so yummy, I could just eat that for dinner. I have a fresh bunch in the fridge for tonight. This same recipe is good for any fresh veggies you like. You can also throw in some fresh chopped herbs of your choice too. It’s fun to experiment.

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