By the time Summer hits with full force, there is no denying that the best of asparagus is over. For asparagus lovers such as myself this is a sad turn of events, but I still buy it whenever I see some that look tasty enough. There are so many ways to prepare asparagus, either as a side dish or incorporated in pastas, risottos, soups, savory tarts. I will share one of my favorite recipes: simplicity itself. I wish I knew where I got it from to give proper credit, but unfortunately I don’t remember. Only three ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and less than five minutes of your time. Have I convinced you to try it yet? 😉
1 bunch of asparagus, not too thin, not too thick, just right
zest of 1 lemon
olive oil, best possible quality you can find
salt and pepper
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with lemon zest and allow it to sit while you prepare the asparagus.
Cut the asparagus on a diagonal, reserving the tough ends for your veggie stock or your compost pile. Add the asparagus pieces to slightly salted boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Yes, only two. Trust me. Drain them in a pasta colander and run cold water from the faucet briefly over them. You just want to stop the cooking, but don’t allow them to get cold.
Add the asparagus to a serving dish, pour the olive oil/lemon zest mixture on top, toss, season with salt and pepper. Serve and wait for compliments.
Measurements for this recipe are not precise, in fact I often just eye-ball it.The amount of olive oil, for instance, I just use what it seems to be enough to lightly coat the asparagus pieces, and use enough lemon zest to make sure it will end up with a bright, nice, lemony taste. Sometimes I squeeze some lemon juice together with the olive oil, sometimes I add fresh thyme, but for the most part I keep it simple.
It is important that the asparagus is still warm when you add it to the olive oil mixture. But you can enjoy this dish warm or at room temperature. Leftovers keep quite well, I love to have them in my bento box for lunch, with grape tomatoes, maybe some couscous or a slice of bread.