3 Addictive Asparagus Recipes Made Simple

This first recipe is so easy, it’s almost unfair, but that’s what I love about it. It’s been my go-to for years, but shhhhhh! I promise I won’t tell if you get a little crazy and top it with the walnut pesto from recipe 2. You know you want to. ūüėȬ†To watch me¬†demo the first 2 recipes, click here or click on any of the images below. Enjoy!

IMG_10191) Ridiculously Simple Asparagus Salad + how to blanch

active 10 minutes total 15 minutes

4 servings

  • 1 bunch asparagus¬†(about 1 lb), washed, dried and tough ends trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • ¬ľ tsp Maldon flakey sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

Bring a large pot of cold, salted water to boil (Kosher salt preferred for this step). Add whole, trimmed asparagus spears and let boil for exactly 3 minutes (or 2-3 minutes for the super thin stalks). They should still have a little snap to them.

While asparagus is boiling, prepare your ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water. Once the 3 minutes are up, carefully remove the asparagus and transfer directly to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and place in serving dish.

Top with olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve immediately.

DO AHEAD: blanched asparagus will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Simply drain, dry well with a paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Or you can freeze the cooled, dried blanched asparagus and it will keep in the freezer for up to 7 months!

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(it even looks pretty in a to-go container!)

2) Char-Broiled Asparagus with Walnut Pesto

active 10 minutes total 20 minutes

4 servings

Try this recipe with grilled asparagus or even steamed to change it up. The pesto rocks them all. 

  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb), washed, dried and tough ends trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¬ľ tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 6-8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated or minced
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Splash of sherry vinegar to finish (optional)

Method

Position oven rack in upper third of oven and turn broiler to high. In a large bowl, add asparagus followed by olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. (You can keep the asparagus whole or cut into bite-sized pieces, depending on your preference).

Lift asparagus from bowl and place onto a baking sheet, allowing excess oil to drip off into the bowl. Arrange in a single layer without overcrowding and broil until browned, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Meanwhile, prep the pesto. Toast walnuts in a dry pan over medium high heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Roughly chop the walnuts and add to a small bowl. Top with basil, garlic, salt, pepper, and remaining teaspoon olive oil and stir to combine. Set aside.

Once asparagus is broiled, transfer to serving dish. Spoon on plenty of walnut pesto (you may have extra leftover, but it’s delicious on salads or pasta or even on toast). Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Finish with a splash of sherry vinegar for extra brightness, if desired.

NOTE: Pesto can be made with pecans, almonds, or even pignoli (but if you are using pignoli, reduce quantity to ¬Ĺ cup).

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3) Spring Farro Salad with Asparagus and Herbs

active 55 minutes total 1 hr 45 minutes

4 servings

A mix of dill and mint is used, but feel free to substitute any combination of tender herbs, such as parsley, cilantro or basil. Try this with quinoa or brown rice if you can’t find¬†farro.

  • 2 cups farro
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb), trimmed, sliced ¬ľ inch thick, tips reserved
  • 1 tsp lemon zest plus 3 Tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
  • ¬Ĺ cup dill, finely chopped
  • ¬ľ cup mint, finely chopped

Cook farro in boiling, salted water for 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, then add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add diced asparagus stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are slightly softened, but still have a bite, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in lemon zest and sea salt. Transfer to a plate in a single layer to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, and remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, toss together farro, cooked asparagus, and fresh herbs. Spoon on dressing, to taste. Garnish with asparagus tips and serve.

Do ahead: Whole grains, such as farro, can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated. Make a big batch on a weekend to use throughout week. And any leftover dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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    dabblingchef

    Someone said they were having trouble commenting. Let me know if that’s the case. Testing it out myself ūüôā -A

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