October 13, 2009

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon

asparagusThe other day, I mentioned that I served my Chipotle Orange-Herb Chicken with asparagus. While I normally consider asparagus a spring vegetable, I happened upon some at the farmer’s market the other day, so I jumped at the chance for some locally grown, fresh asparagus. It happens to be one of my favorite vegetables. I could eat my weight in asparagus. (Okay, maybe not, but I did eat about half of this recipe alongside my chicken!)

This recipe is not my own. It comes from Simply Recipes, an absolutely splendid food blog hosted by Elise Bauer. Unbeknownst to her, Elise was a great influence in the creation of Tasty Eats At Home. Back before I started Tasty Eats At Home, I barely understood what a blog was, much less understood the need for one. The only people that I knew that had blogs used them as a personal soapbox of sorts, a place where they could share their thoughts and opinions. I didn’t understand the draw, at first. But when I came across Simply Recipes, I began to understand my calling. Elise used her blog as a place to archive and document family recipes (at least, that’s how it all began). I thought this was a grand idea, and I could share my recipes with readers (of which I didn’t have many, at the beginning!), family, and friends. A little over a year later, Tasty Eats At Home has become many things: a gluten-free recipe and cooking blog, a place for me to organize and archive recipes (I do cook from my own recipes fairly often!), and perhaps most importantly, it is a continually evolving, growing being, reflective of my changing interests and experiences. I love that Tasty Eats At Home holds me accountable, forcing me to grow in an area I love the most – FOOD! I thank Elise greatly for creating her blog, and inspiring me to do the same.

Now that that’s all overwith, to the recipe. This is an asparagus dish that hardly needs a recipe, it’s so simple. But yet I turn to it again and again, as the lemon zest brightens the dish, making each bite irresistable. Many times I’ll omit the Parmesan, just to make it even lighter. With immensely fresh asparagus and a fruity, tasty olive oil, you hardly need much more adornment.

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon, adapted from Simply Recipes

1 bunch of asparagus, about 1 lb

2 T high-quality extra virgin olive oil

2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1 t lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

Break off the woody ends of the asparagus, and cut into 2-inch sections at a diagonal. Place a steamer insert into a medium-sized saucepan and fill with enough water to come just to the bottom of the steamer, and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and steam for 2 minutes, or just until you can pierce with a fork with a bit of resistance. (It shouldn’t be super-crunchy, but you wouldn’t want it to be mushy, either. A slight crunch is perfect. I won’t tell if you sneak a piece to “test.” I do.) Remove from heat, and remove asparagus from steamer insert and place into a bowl. Toss with olive oil, Parmesan (if using), and lemon zest. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4, or if I’m around, 2.

37 Responses to “Steamed Asparagus with Lemon”

  1. delicious! I love asparagus — I bet the hint of lemon makes this fantastic.

  2. This is a perfect way to eat asparagus! I’m with you – I can eat an enormous amount of asparagus, and I’m jealous that you found some at the farmers’ market at this time of year! Asparagus has already been requested for Thanksgiving, but I’m hesitant to use the stuff that I’ll be able to find in the store in November.

  3. I love asparagus and the simplicity of this recipe is absolutely wonderful! Can’t wait till I can find some in my Farmer’s Market again!

  4. Yum! This looks so healthy and delicious – I love it!

  5. Asparagus, lemon and Parmesan…sounds perfect to me! Love it!

  6. delicious! i love asparagus! i’m sure the lemon zest gives the perfect highlight!

  7. The joys of simple food with simple flavors. I like my asparagus crunchy. And I love eating them too.

  8. You’re right, if the asparagus are good, they hardly need any garnish. I looove green asparagus too!

  9. I love aspargus. Lovely pics!

  10. Love this recipe– asparagus is best served simply dressed. Wish I could still find some here!

  11. This asparagus looks so picture perfect and I bet it is just so delicious! Sounds excellent with lemon!

  12. This sounds delicious! Brightly flavored with lemon and the Parmesan is definitely required for me!

  13. Great post and I agree, Elise has a wonderful blog. And so do YOU! This asparagus recipe looks divine and I missed it the first time around, so thank you for repeating it. I can only imagine how yummy it would be along side your chipotle orange herb chicken. Both are on my list to try.

  14. Beautiful! Love asparagus – and lemon always makes food taste bright and fresh to me (like you’re adding sunshine!). My Italian hubby will love this – esp with the Parm!

  15. I love asparagus! especially with lemon and herbs it is truly wonderful. I really enjoy coming to your blog to read your awesome recipes :)

  16. This is my favorite way to eat asparagus!

    I loved to read about how you decided to start your own blog…

  17. Yeah… *sigh*
    I was just telling Peef that we didn’t eat NEARLY enough asparagus this past spring. And there’s little hope we’ll find any locally grown stuff at our market. So, I’m just going to live vicariously for a moment, if it’s OK with you. That grocery store swill can’t hold a candle to the real thing…

  18. That was so sweet how you started your blog. It’s such a great place and I enjoy visiting!!

  19. I love asparagus and your dish sounds yummy! And I also Simply Recipe. The recipes are easy to make and so good :)

  20. Aparagus is my absolute fave and I eat pounds of it when it’s in season. Love what you’ve done with it, simple and perfect!

  21. Simply Recipes was a great influence on me when I started my blog too. She has an amazing blog, and so do you! Great recipe.

  22. Asparagus are so good! Yes! Really like the lemon you got going in there :o) I have been to Simply Recipes before and enjoyed her site, too! Stop by my blog… I’ve got something for ya! http://just-making-noise.blogspot.com/2009/10/gratitude-foodie-fights-award.html

  23. What a lovely way to prepare asparagus. I do miss the lovely stalks that I was able to find a couple of months ago – a little too cold here now. I love Elise’s blog, too, and can certainly see why it has inspired you.

  24. I could also eat my weight in asparagus! My pee would smell like I did too! (laugh)
    This asparagus recipe is fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

  25. YUM! I love asparagus and Parmesan together, I bet the lemon really brightens the flavor. What a delicious side dish!

  26. I make something very similar to this but I always roast the asparagus then toss with lemon zest and Parmesan. Of course the only problem is that most of that don’t make it from the roasting pan to the serving dish. They are such good finger food.

  27. WOW! Your pictures are amazing!! I just want to eat everything you’ve posted!! ;-) And I love asparagus, I had some in a soup yesterday, and it was so tasty, simple, and delicious!

  28. Simple, simple. That’s the way to go with asparagus. It’s my favorite veggie.

  29. About your “high quality extra virgin olive oil” statement in the recipe – I couldn’t agree more. I think that it’s so important to use an olive oil that you’d use just as a salad dressing with a little salt and pepper – good quality and a flavor you love. I didn’t always understand this and once I did it made a big difference in the taste of my food.

    I’ve also found that expensive does not always mean best. I love the kind I use. It is as good as the much more expensive olive oils I tasted in Napa.

  30. Love this, it’s simple, easy and quick.. I love Elise of Simply recipes too :)

  31. I usually just steam it then add a little butter and salt, but this sounds great. My kids like asparagus, and I bet they would like the lemon and Parmesan with it.

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  33. I just discovered the beauty of asparagus, after finally getting over the talk of the “icky pee”. I had it just steamed with a bit of salt and pepper tonight, but I cannot wait to try this recipe out later this week.

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