Asparagus

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Quick and easy asparagus recipe! How to cook asparagus spears perfectly, dress with olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 the asparagus 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.

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Asparagus Recipe

  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Heat blanching water: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil.

2 Prep the asparagus: While the water is heating, prepare the asparagus. Rinse them thoroughly; break off any tough, white bottoms and discard.

Cut the spears into 1 to 2 inch sections, slicing the asparagus at a slight diagonal.

3 Blanch the asparagus: Add the asparagus to the boiling water and lower the heat slightly to maintain a simmer. Parboil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the hot water.

4 Toss with olive oil, Parmesan, lemon zest: While the asparagus are still hot, toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, Parmesan, and lemon zest.

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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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73 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. James hickery

    Sooooo goooood

  2. Gina

    My neighbor went to the Farmer’s Market and shared a bunch of asparagus with us. Instead of lemon zest I squeezed a lot of lemon juice and decided to add one clove of fresh minced garlic with the rest of the ingredients. It was so good and my family loved it so much.
    Thank you for a simple and tasty side dish.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Sharon

    Delish! Can u do the same for broccoli?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. David

    So simple, soooooo good. I’ll never make asparagus any other way.
    Didn’t use parmesan cheese because I had none. Looking forward to trying it.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. mary

    Definitely the best asparagus recipe, ever!

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