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.
- 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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