Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Vegan/Vegetarian

Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus

Nicoletta May 16, 2020

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Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus. A seasonal recipe that isn’t much of a recipe. Just five ingredients: evo oil, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest. The star of the show remains the asparagus. Cooking them on the stove top is easy, quick, and lets you control how crisp or tender you want your asparagus to be.

Song of the day: Look For The Good – Jason Mraz

Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus-from the top

Aren’t you happy when you see bundles of fresh asparagus in the markets? I am over the moon, I love all the dishes I can make with asparagus, from simpler to more elaborate ones. The first time I made these stove top lemon asparagus was to top my Spring focaccia served with crumbled feta and a drizzle of honey. Have you made it yet? It presents beautifully and it tastes amazing. I suggest you make a double serving of these lemon asparagus, use half as a side dish, and the other half for the focaccia. You can thank me later, lol.

 

It’s asparagus time!

Asparagus comes with the first signs of Spring. And when asparagus is in season, we usually eat it as often as we can. Although the thicker ones have a more robust flavor, we like to get the thin ones that remind us of the wild asparagus my father loves to forage in the countryside.

Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus-asparagus

Have you ever had wild asparagus? You cannot beat their taste!

wild asparagus in a basket

Wild asparagus – Asparagina selvatica

Let’s clean the asparagus!

  • Wash the asparagus under cold running water. Trim the tougher ends by grabbing the end of each asparagus in your hands, and bending it until the end snaps off. You want to take out the hardest and more fibrous part. I usually don’t peel the skin off the bottom of the stalks, especially for those thin ones.

If you were making a risotto, use the end parts to flavor your vegetable stock.

Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus-washed and trimmed

Before starting, you will need a fairly large pan. Don’t crowd the asparagus or have more than one layer. If your pan is not big enough, cook them in batches as needed.

Let’s start!

  • In a large pan on medium-high heat, add the e.v.o. oil. When it is warm, add the garlic clove, then the asparagus, and a ladle of water. Cook without a lid for a couple of minutes or until the water has almost completely evaporated. 
  • Next, turn the asparagus with the tongs, put the lid on, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove the lid, add salt and pepper, and turn the asparagus over again. Put the lid back on and repeat the operation until the asparagus is slightly crunchy about 5 minutes total (depending on thickness). Lastly, pour the lemon juice into the pan and stir. I usually grab the saute pan by the handle and shake it so the asparagus turns gently without having to use the tongs. 
  • Finally, remove the garlic, place the asparagus in a serving dish, and grate some lemon zest on top.

Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus-lemon

Fresh, bright flavor

These stove top lemon asparagus are simple and fast. They keep all their flavor which is only enhanced by the brightness of the lemon juice and zest. They taste like a fresh Spring morning, slightly crisp and delightful.

What goes with these lemon asparagus?

Many are the flavorful pairings:

  • eggs
  • a grilled protein like chicken, steak, fish, prawns, halloumi, scamorza cheese
  • other vegetables like artichokes, peas, zucchini, mushrooms

Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus-in the plate

Song of the day: Look For The Good – Jason Mraz

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Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus-from the top

Simple Stove top Lemon Asparagus

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish, Vegetarian
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A seasonal recipe that isn’t much of a recipe. Some oil in the sautée pan, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest. The star of the show remains the asparagus. Cooking them on the stove top is easy, quick, and lets you control how crisp or tender you want your asparagus to be.


Ingredients

  • 300 g asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
  • 1 clove garlic, whole, smashed
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • lemon zest, for the top

Instructions

  1. Wash the asparagus under cold running water. Trim the tougher ends by grabbing the end of each asparagus in your hands, and bending it until the end snaps off. You want to take out the hardest and more fibrous part.
  2. In a large pan on medium-high heat, add the e.v.o. oil. When it is warm, add the garlic clove, then the asparagus, and a ladle of water.
  3. Cook without a lid for a couple of minutes or until the water has almost completely evaporated.
  4. Turn the asparagus with the tongs, put the lid on, and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the lid, add salt and pepper, and turn the asparagus over again. Put the lid back on and repeat the operation until the asparagus is slightly crunchy about 5 minutes total (depending on thickness).
  6. Lastly, pour the lemon juice into the pan and stir. I usually grab the saute pan by the handle and shake it so the asparagus turns genty without having to use the tongs.
  7. Remove the garlic, place the asparagus in a serving dish, and grate some lemon zest on top.

Notes

You will need a fairly large pan. Don’t crowd the asparagus or have more than one layer. If your pan is not big enough, cook them in batches as needed.

You can pair these lemon asparagus with eggs; a grilled protein like chicken, steak, fish, prawns, halloumi; other vegetables like artichokes, peas, zucchini, mushrooms.

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15 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Vanessa May 19, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    I definitely eat my share of asparagus at this time of year. Thanks for another great way to prepare it!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 19, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      Me too! Eat lots when they’re in season. This is a simple but delicious way, thanks!

  • Avatar
    Reply Julia May 20, 2020 at 1:38 am

    I absolutely love wild asparagus. Here in Spain, we get it in the early spring and I always buy it. You see people picking it road side banks and on the way down to the beach. Funny, I never seem to find any though…lol! This dish looks so simple, fresh and delicious!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 22, 2020 at 3:00 am

      Even here, in the countryside, lots of people go asparagus “hunting”, including my dad. And if we cannot find them, the farmers market sell the beautiful wild asparagus in bundles. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kelly Neil May 21, 2020 at 9:20 am

    What a beautiful bright spring combo! And that wild asparagus is stunning. I’ve never seen it before!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 22, 2020 at 2:59 am

      Thanks! We’ve been making it often, it’s so good and simple. Ys, wild asparagus are fantastic!

  • Avatar
    Reply Heidi Fink May 22, 2020 at 11:17 am

    I am absolutely making this! Fresh local asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables and you have done it justice here.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 24, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you so much! We’ve made it again since it is easy and so tasty. Got to take advantage of asparagus season!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sean@Diversivore May 22, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    One thing I really love about you guys is that I know I can trust you to give ingredients the love and attention they deserve! Asparagus is such a great food, and it really gets to shine with a simple-but-skillful treatment like this. Kudos to the use of lemon too – it’s a perfect touch. Cheers!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 24, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you, Sean! You made me blush! It’s true, though, asparagus don’t need much to shine, and lemon is such a great compliment.

  • Avatar
    Reply Nancy @instanomss May 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    adding this to my shopping list today!! lemon is such a perfect touch!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 24, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you! It is, just to brighten up the flavors. Hope you make it and love it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Cynthia Priest May 24, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    I shall buy more asparagus to try this out. I have never used lemon with asparagus before.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 24, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you, Cynthia! Simple flavors but the lemon really compliments them well.

  • Avatar
    Reply Terri May 25, 2020 at 7:34 am

    I love the addition of the garlic and lemon! I eat asparagus all the time, yet never thought to add those 2 fave ingredients. Yummy!

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