Best Asparagus Ever

I thought about that headline for a few minutes. Hyperbole can bite you in the butt. But I really do think this recipe, which came from the May issue of Real Simple, is the best asparagus I’ve ever made. I grew up in a family where asparagus was an extension of a general mindset. We didn’t waste anything — in and of itself not a bad behavior — but in the world of asparagus that meant the entire stalk was served up. And that meant I spent a fair amount of my asparagus-eating time trying to figure out how to hide the woody end piece that you could seriously chew for 20 minutes and be no closer to being able to swallow than if you’d been chewing shoe leather.

I’m not sure what convinced me to to give asparagus another chance, but somewhere in my adult life, I realized I could cook asparagus and I didn’t have to serve the woody stalk. I could just break it off and guess what? The resulting vegetable was actually tasty and I could swallow it!

So there it is. If you’re not sure about asparagus, maybe because you, too, have some shady asparagus in your past, make this and then decide for yourself. While I don’t know if it will be the best asparagus you’ve ever eaten — after all I don’t actually know what you’ve eaten in the asparagus category —  I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Plus this is super easy.

Let us know what you think.

Lemony Sauteed Asparagus

serves 4


2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 ounce Parmesan, shaved



Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast, tossing once, until golden, 4-5 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Saute, tossing occasionally until tender, about 4-6 minutes. Add the pine nuts and toss to combine. Sprinkle with pine nuts and lemon zest.



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