Parmesan Asparagus with Lemon Butter is ready in ten minutes and made with only four ingredients. This fresh and flavorful side dish is perfect for summer, with a light citrus flavor.
What's the best way to eat more veggies? Find some quick and easy recipes that are filled with flavor! That's why I'm loving this recipe for parmesan asparagus with lemon butter.
The asparagus is lightly blanched, then tossed in melted butter with lemon zest and topped with parmesan cheese. Lemon zest adds a tart and fresh citrus flavor that's perfect for summer.
This asparagus pairs well with grilled chicken or shrimp for a low calorie meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
For this recipe, you'll need
- Lemon zest
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper
Want to substitute the asparagus? This recipe is an easy way to add flavor to any cooked vegetables you have on hand. Try tossing steamed broccoli or cauliflower in this same lemon butter mixture for a quick and easy vegetable side dish.
Choosing your asparagus
Asparagus comes in many sizes, from pencil-thin, to thick and woody. The ideal asparagus will fall somewhere in the middle - you're looking for medium sized asparagus stalks. This size is ideal for boiling, and has a good amount of flavor.
Very thin asparagus is easy to overcook - I recommend using this size in a raw salad instead. Thick asparagus is best when oven roasted or grilled. Thick asparagus and has less flavor, so it's not ideal for boiling.
If you've never worked with asparagus before, it is very easy to prepare. An asparagus spear will have a harder, woody end, which needs to be trimmed before preparing.
To do so, hold the woody end of the asparagus between two fingers, and use the other hand to gently bend the asparagus spear, so that it snaps off where the woody part ends. This should be about 1-2 inches into your asparagus spear. This piece can be discarded.
Take care not to waste too much of your asparagus spear - it should not break halfway through. Between 1-2 inches is all that will need to come off.
Feel free to break each spear by hand if desired. But for a quicker method, take note of where your first spear broke. Bundle the rest of your asparagus spears together and slice them with a knife in the same spot.
Parmesan Asparagus with Lemon Butter
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese freshly grated
- In a pan over high heat, bring salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare your asparagus for blanching. Gently bend each asparagus spear until it breaks naturally (or, bend one spear, take note of where it breaks naturally, and slice the remainder with a knife in the same spot). Discard the woody ends, then slice reach spear in half.
- Once water is boiling, add asparagus and blanch for 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness). Test with a fork for your desired firmness. Remove from heat immediately and drain.
- In a large bowl, add unsalted butter, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add hot asparagus and allow butter to melt. Toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
- Any cooked vegetables can be substituted for asparagus - skip to step three and toss vegetable of your choice in lemon butter mixture.
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese is best for this recipe. Store bought parmesan cheeses (in a canister) often contain anti-clumping powders, which causes a grainy texture when cheese melts.