I have an on again, off again relationship with certain vegetables, and asparagus is one of them. I do like it, but it’s got to have something special about it for me to really want it, and enjoy it. You can’t just boil it, put it on a plate and expect me to eat it.
I have wrapped them in prosciutto, which is always a hit, especially when coated with a garlic butter and parmesan cheese. But then is there really any point to eating a vegetable once you do that? I like to think so, but I know when I’m kidding myself.
I cleaned and cut some asparagus the other night to go alongside my meatloaf and I had to think of something to put on it, so I opened my fridge and quickly found I was in desperate need of a grocery shopping trip. But, thankfully I had a few lemons, and lots of butter and garlic. I was set.
I took about 3 tablespoons of softened, salted butter, a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic and the juice of one lemon and mixed it together with a fork. I worked it all together until it was a bit whippy and really soft.
After I cut the ends of the asparagus and washed them, I laid them on a oiled baking sheet.
Then I did something very naughty. Avert your eyes if you have an issue with butter. Not just butter, but a lot of it. I spread all of it on those little green beauties until all you could see was the yellow of the butter. Not sorry one bit. Then I sprinkled a little sea salt and pepper on top. I put this into a preheated 425 degree oven and baked them for 10 minutes, turning them once halfway through.
They came out perfectly. Just slightly browned, tender, but not too soft, and so full of a buttery shine that you could see your reflection in each stalk. Well maybe not quite, so I turned them a few times in the pan to soak up a little more butter to get them shinier, and then I could see myself. I made sure to drizzle on the remaining pieces of garlic from the pan as well when I plated them. Then for a little extra ‘somethin’-somethin”, I squeezed a little more fresh lemon juice right over the top of them before serving, along with a little grated lemon zest for a punch of flavor and color.
Lemon makes so many things taste better, and I use it quite often with veggies that need a little kick. You don’t need sauces or processed flavors from a bottle. Just use natural foods to give what you are cooking a little boost. You will never be sorry. Three simple ingredients made this asparagus look and taste really great, with very little effort. Except for the few extra minutes of high intensity cardio I did the next day to compensate. That was a bit more effort I suppose, but I still think it was worth it. Not so much the cardo, the butter, I mean.
– The Homesteaders Wife