My favorite way to eat asparagus is to make steamed asparagus, dressed with a simple sauce of melted butter, lemon juice and garlic.
What do I put on steamed asparagus?
I season it simply, with an easy sauce of butter, garlic and lemon juice.
I actually think that when the asparagus is young and fresh, it’s delicious with no sauce at all – just a sprinkling of coarse kosher salt and black pepper!
How long does it take to steam asparagus?
Just 5 minutes (see the recipe card for full instructions). I like to use medium thickness asparagus spears when making steamed asparagus. I find that the very thick ones are not as tasty, and the very thin ones somehow less satisfying.
How do I steam asparagus in the microwave?
The instructions provided in the recipe card below are for using a steamer. If you don’t own a steamer, you can steam the asparagus in the microwave: wash and trim the asparagus. Place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water to the bowl. Cover tightly with a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes for one bunch of asparagus, until tender-crisp.
Don’t overcook the asparagus
If the asparagus is ready before you are ready to serve it (perhaps the main course is still cooking), you should still remove it from the steamer. Steamed asparagus is delicious at room temperature. It’s better to serve it crisp at room temperature than to overcook it in an attempt to keep it warm.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep in the fridge for about 3 days, but they won’t be as good as fresh. I prefer to chop them cold and add to a salad, rather than try to reheat them.
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, medium thickness (about 20 spears)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Start boiling the water for the steamer. (If you prefer to use the microwave, refer to the Notes section below).
- Chop off about an inch from the bottom of the asparagus. There's generally no need to peel them, since we're using medium-thickness spears, but if some of the spears are very thick or woody, go ahead and peel the bottom.
- Once the water has boiled, place the asparagus in the steamer basket. Cover and steam until the asparagus is just barely tender, about 5 minutes.
- Immediately remove the asparagus from the steamer and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle the steamed asparagus with melted butter and lemon juice, and sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder.