Pan-Roasted Asparagus

Published March 1, 2005.

Why this recipe works:

For our pan-roasted asparagus recipe, we wanted a simple stovetop cooking method that would deliver crisp, evenly browned spears without the fuss of having to rotate each spear individually. Along with the oil and asparagus, we added just a little butter to the skillet and covered the pan so… read more

For our pan-roasted asparagus recipe, we wanted a simple stovetop cooking method that would deliver crisp, evenly browned spears without the fuss of having to rotate each spear individually. Along with the oil and asparagus, we added just a little butter to the skillet and covered the pan so the water evaporating from the butter began steaming the asparagus, providing enough additional moisture to finish cooking the spears to a bright green, crisp-tender stage. We still needed to brown them before they overcooked, but when we found that tasters preferred the flavor of spears browned on only one side, we realized that we could limit the additional cooking time.

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Serves 4 to 6

This recipe works best with asparagus that is at least 1/2 inch thick near the base. If using thinner spears, reduce the covered cooking time to 3 minute and the uncovered cooking time to 5 minutes. Do not use pencil-thin asparagus; it cannot withstand the heat and overcooks too easily.

Ingredients

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