My favorite way to enjoy asparagus is to make steamed asparagus, dressed with a simple sauce of melted butter, lemon juice, and garlic.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- Fresh asparagus. Choose spears with a medium thickness.
- Melted butter
- Lemon juice
- Seasonings: Kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
How to steam asparagus?
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Start by boiling some water – this takes a while.
- Next, trim the asparagus.
- Place it in a steamer basket.
- Cover and steam until tender-crisp.
How long does it take to steam asparagus?
It takes just 5 minutes. I like to use medium thickness asparagus spears when making his recipe. I find that the very thick ones are not as tasty, and the very thin ones somehow less satisfying.
How to make microwave asparagus
If you don’t own a steamer, you can use the microwave. Here are the steps for making microwave asparagus:
- Wash and trim the asparagus.
- Place it in a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of 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 it!
If the asparagus is ready before you are ready to serve it (perhaps the main course is still cooking), you should still remove it to a serving plate. Cover it with foil to keep it warm.
It’s better to serve it crisp at room temperature than to overcook it in an attempt to keep it warm.
What to 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!
What to serve with steamed asparagus?
Anything, really. It’s such a versatile side dish. I usually try to serve it with a main dish that I can make on the stovetop (so that I don’t have to use both the oven and the stove). So I often serve this side dish with any of the following main dishes:
How to store leftovers?
Leftovers keep in the fridge in a sealed container 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. Sometimes I wrap them in prosciutto slices for an improvised cold version of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.
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- 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 are 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.