Asparagus with parmesan
This is a very quick way to do something special with asparagus. There are two keys to success. First, choose the freshest possible asparagus. Thin spears are best. Second, use a chunk of parmesan that you grate yourself.
It’s possible to cook the asparagus ahead of time and finish the recipe just before serving.
Asparagus with parmesan makes a beautiful starter, and also works well as a side dish alongside just about anything.
1 pound (500 g.) green asparagus
1 tbsp. butter
1-1/2 ounces (40 g.) freshly grated parmesan
pinch of sea salt
Rinse the asparagus and trim off the woody ends. The trimmed spears should be about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) long.
Steam the asparagus until just tender. This takes about 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Taste a spear to check for readiness — it should retain a tiny bit of crunch. Turn off the heat and remove the cover of the steamer to leave the spears exposed to fresh air. This way they will remain a lovely bright green.
Melt the butter in a small pan. Allow it to bubble until it begins to turn a nutty brown color. Remove from heat.
Place a large, nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus and allow it to reheat gently for about 1 minute. Add the melted butter and grated parmesan. Stir gently with a wooden spatula until the parmesan begins to melt. This goes very quickly.
Remove to a serving platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve at once. Serves 2 very generously as a starter, or 4 as a side dish.