Asparagus with Lime and Mint

Fresh spring asparagus, lightly sautéed in oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, fresh lime juice, and mint.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

True confession here, as a child I despised the asparagus my mother served.

Asparagus were steamed to a dreadfully pathetic wilt, and tasted, I assumed, no better than the old grass clippings trapped in the blades of the lawn mower.

It was only when I decided to overcome my own fear of these precocious green stalks did I come to fully appreciate them.

Now every spring I prepare them the same way—lightly sautéed in a bit of oil, salt and peppered, and then with a good squeeze of lime juice over them to give them a bit of spark!

Asparagus

It was Elise who thought of tossing a bit of mint on them creating a complimentary cooling flavor. So very mojito-esque, minus the rum, of course.

A delicious, easy, and fast preparation for asparagus (which, by the way, should always be eaten with your fingers).

Asparagus with Lime and Mint Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive, sunflower, or grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1-2 fresh limes (yielding a total of 1 1/2 Tablespoons of juice)
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh mint, chopped or cut in a chiffonade*

*To chiffonade mint, stack a few leaves, roll leaves up like a cigar, starting at one end, make your way down the roll, making thin slices.

Method

1 Heat the oil in a wide sauté or frying pan on medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, cooking for about 5-6 minutes until just cooked through, but still with some firmness.

2 Put on a plate and squeeze lime juice over the asparagus and sprinkle on the mint.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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Showing 4 of 15 Comments

  • Trish in MO

    Ohh I adore asparagus, especially sauteed. I usually sprinkle lemon juice on if I don’t use a finishing course sea salt on them. I’ll have to try the lime, that sounds good, but I never thought of putting mint on it. I am mint-ignorant, but I am sure there is more than one type of mint out there. What type of mint are you using here, Garrett?

    Just regular mint. ~Garrett

  • Krystle

    I tried this the other night, and it wasn’t my favorite. I think that was my fault, though, and definitely not the fault of the recipe. I had tried the asparagus risotto a few nights earlier and was completely wowed by it. For this recipe, the limes I bought weren’t ripe, and they literally did not yield even a drop of juice, so I had to use lemon. Plus, I forgot to buy kosher salt, so I had to use table salt. The result was a little ho-hum. I think if I’d been able to follow the recipe exactly, though, it would have had more zing. In any case, it gave me more practice cooking, so thanks!

  • Scotty

    Mmmm, I love thin stalks of asparagus and I love your recipe too. I must admit that I think butter adds a sublime dimension to this dish. I wish I could enjoy asparagus every month of the year but I always taste varying degrees of bitter flavors in frozen asparagus that I don’t taste in fresh.

  • jrhather

    Or even better, toss them in a bit of Olive Oil salt & Pepper, quickly grill them over hot mesquite charcoal, and then squeeze on the citrus and toss with mint. The only challenge is keeping the pesky stalks perpendicular to the grates, so they don’t fall in the fire.

    Or you could just use some chicken wire… cut 2 sizable slabs of wire with pliers or what have you, offset them so that the lil hexagons don’t match up and wire them together. It’s a “grate” way of grilling without losing them precious veggies!

    To everyone noting to grill or BBQ them, this recipe would be fabulous for that. Still, I am a fan of the saute pan. Less mess, quicker, and personally I don’t have a BBQ. ~Garrett

  • Kristin

    Turned out great. Thanks for the recipes!

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Asparagus with Lime and MintAsparagus with Lime and Mint