Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Asparagus with Brown Butter

Hurray! It's the first asparagus of the year. I feel like I am none too soon in getting some; as I say at the bottom of this post everything is going to be early this year. As ever, the first asparagus should be served simply and enjoyed for itself but even so everything is better with butter. 

Be sure you have everything ready to go before you start cooking this - it all comes together so quickly there will be no time to fiddle with finding things as the asparagus cooks.

2 to 4 servings
10 minutes prep time

500 grams (1 pound) asparagus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
the juice of 1/2 lemon
OR 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Wash and trim the asparagus, and bring a pot of water to a boil in which to cook it.

Put the asparagus in the water when it boils, and cook it for 3 to 5 minutes, until done to your liking.

Melt the butter in small saucepan, and cook it (simmer) until it turns brown; about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, juice the lemon and mix it with the salt, pepper, and sugar. If you prefer, you can use balsamic vinegar instead of the lemon juice, in which case omit the sugar.

When the butter is ready, mix it in with the other sauce ingredients. Drain the asparagus thoroughly, put it in the serving dish and pour the sauce over it. Serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Asparagus & Wild Leeks. Wild leeks have been over for a while this year already - this is going to be one of those years where everything is way early. I hate that; I always go out looking for things on schedule and discover I've missed them. I need to take warning from this.

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