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.


  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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.

  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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…

  5. says

    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.

  6. says

    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.

  7. says

    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.

  8. says

    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!

  9. says

    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.

  10. says

    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.

  11. Anna says

    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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