The Asparagus Are Coming: Pan Roasted Asparagus

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Aug 23, 2014 No Comments ›› Melissa Graham

(Originally posted April 2010 at

I’m a freak.

There I admitted it. I just got an email from Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks, a Peapod for locavores, telling me that asparagus will be available in the next delivery. It literally elicited a shriek from me.

I was at a lunch a few weeks back where I was served a beautiful Artic Char topped with steamed pencil asparagus. I pushed those aside and dug into the fish. A friend sitting next to me commented on the irony of me, the head spear, not eating the asparagus. She asked why? I told her because it’s not local. There are only a few foods about which I take such a hard line. Just like tomatoes and strawberries, asparagus is a truly great food, but it just doesn’t taste as good when it isn’t from around here. No, these foods are worth waiting for.

Like a crocus peeking its head out from under the dead leaf cover, my Fresh Picks email proclaimed spring’s triumphant return. There’s no need to gussy up the first asparagus of the season. Here’s my super simple asparagus recipe that I’ll be making time and time again until the asparagus make their departure in early June.

Sautéed Asparagus



2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and rinsed

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt

Heat the butter in the pan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the asparagus and toss to coat. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

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