Sauteed asparagus is a quick and easy vegetable side dish to prepare any night of the week, and this recipe comes complete with a delicious and zesty sauce for extra flavor!
Sauteed Asparagus, A Delectably Delicious Veggie Side Dish
Asparagus is one of my absolute favorite vegetables.
I love nibbling on those long, thin, bright green stalks, so crisp and vibrant, so flavorful and healthy.
And I appreciate the ease of preparing sauteed asparagus. All that's really required is a super quick blanching in lightly boiling, salted water, and then a quick toss in a hot pan with some shallots and a flavorful and easy little zesty sauce, if you're looking to make things extra special and mouthwatering.
Make it Saucy!
Many, many years ago I used to order a salad that had a sort of zesty, mustard-y dressing, one with a hint of cumin in it, and it was so delicious!
So I recreated this dressing myself a while back, and decided to use it with my recipe for sauteed asparagus to make it extra delicious and flavorful.
Because cooked asparagus is fairly neutral in flavor, it can benefit from being dressed in a savory and tangy sauce, one that just gently coats it in the pan as a finishing touch, and this one does so perfectly.
It's a simple and zippy combination of a touch of mayonnaise, some Dijon mustard, lime juice, garlic, and cumin. Bring it all together and gently warm it in a pan before adding in the blanched asparagus and sauteing it in the sauce to finish. It gives the asparagus a rich glossiness and an irresistible flavor!
How to Cook Asparagus on Stove
Cooking asparagus stove-top is an easy process, one that takes only a few minutes altogether.
It basically requires a quick blanching (about 2 minutes, depending on thickness of stalks) to soften the asparagus.
Then, the blanched stalks are quickly plunged into ice water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, to stop the cooking process.
After that, they're ready for the saute pan!
Here's a quick overview of my recipe for sauteed asparagus:
- I blanch my asparagus spears in salted boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Then, I plunge the stalks into an ice bath to stop the cooking, and to retain the vibrant green color.
- Next, I heat the pan, add my shallot and saute that for about 1 minute, then add in my zesty Dijon sauce to warm through, followed by my asparagus.
- To cook, I saute the asparagus in the sauce for a moment or two, then platter up the stalks and serve them topped with sliced almonds.
(The full recipe is below...)
This recipe couldn't be any easier or more scrumptious—the best combination when you're looking to feed your loved ones something nutritious that will also make their tastebuds happy!
Tips & Tidbits for Sauteed Asparagus:
- Thinner spears for quicker cooking: My favorite kind of asparagus spears are the thinner ones. They are less “woody”, more tender, and have better flavor. The thicker ones are fine too, you'll just need to trim them more and blanch a touch longer.
- Trimming asparagus spears: Trimming asparagus spears is basically getting rid of the “woody” stalky bit at the bottom of the spears. The method that I use in order to know where to trim/cut is that I bend one of the stalks near the bottom, and wherever it naturally snaps, then that is roughly where I cut the rest of the spears so they're even.
- Blanching asparagus: Blanching is basically the process of adding something (asparagus in this case) to simmering or slightly boiling salted water, and allowing it very gently cook just enough to keep it crisp yet no longer raw. Blanching asparagus typically only takes between 1-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears.
- Cool it with an ice bath: An ice bath is great when blanching any sort of veggie, as it stops the cooking process and helps keep the color nice and vibrant. So add some ice to a large bowl, fill with cold water, and once the asparagus has been blanched, add the spears directly into the ice bath for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, drain and pat dry.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 177 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
• 12 ounces asparagus, stalky bottoms trimmed (look for medium-thickness spears)
• ½ lemon
• Olive oil
• 1 shallot, finely minced
• 2 tablespoons slices almonds, for garnish
Zesty Dijon Sauce Ingredients:
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ teaspoon, plus a pinch, salt
• Pinch black pepper
• Juice of ½ small lime, or lemon
-Begin by preparing your zesty Dijon sauce: add all ingredients to a small dish or bowl, and whisk together until smooth and completely blended; use immediately, or keep covered in fridge until ready to use.
-To prepare your asparagus: fill a large pan or pot with water, and squeeze the ½ lemon into it; add enough salt to make it taste like the ocean, and bring to the boil.
-Add in the asparagus, and blanch for about 2-3 minutes, or until crisp-tender; drain and plunge into ice water to shock and stop the cooking, and to maintain the vibrant green color; drain and pat dry.
-Place a large pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of the oil; once hot, add in the shallot, and saute for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add in the zesty Dijon sauce to warm through.
-Add in the asparagus and toss to coat in the warm dressing, sauteing for about 30 seconds to 1 minute; add a pinch of salt/pepper, if needed.
-Serve with the sliced almonds sprinkled over top.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated with even more love!