For me, asparagus is at its best as a side dish: it’s so delicious that I feel it should be left alone and not mixed up with other ingredients. You can just steam them for a few minutes, or there are a few other ways you can make this most luxurious of vegetables shine as a side with meat and other veg:
Asparagus Fried With Garlic
My friend and hero Geordie Sue cooked this for us recently as part of a Sunday roast, and it was GOOD. She says: just simmer the asparagus for two minutes to soften them, and then toss them in the frying pan or wok with chopped garlic and fry for two-three minutes. Sesame oil in the pan really makes it. If you prefer your asparagus very crunchy, skip the simmering and just fry for a minute longer.
Roasting really brings out the flavour in asparagus: put them in a roasting pan with a little olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and lots of black pepper. Roast for about 15-20 mins at 200°, until they are beautifully soft and charred. You could also grill or even barbecue them for a similar effect.
And the things you can serve with your roasted/steamed/fried-with-garlic asparagus…oh boy. All of the following are a match made in heaven with asparagus. Asparagus: what a flirt.
- Melted butter
- Hollandaise sauce
- Melted garlic butter
- A soft boiled egg (dip the asparagus)
- Flaked parmesan and black pepper
- A sprinkling of lemon juice