Easy Blanched Asparagus with Cayenne, Lemon, and Garlic
5 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
10 minTotal Time
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1-2 TBSP butter
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8-1/4 tsp salt
- a few wedges of fresh lemon
- Excuse me while I get overly descriptive here. I always get a ton of questions on my blanching technique and I wanted to get super detailed with a super-short recipe. Mwah!
- First prep your ice bath. Though it seems silly, this is a fabulous step to include when you're blanching vegetables. Fill a medium-large bowl with ice and water and set aside. This will serve as a speedy method to shock the green beans and prevent them from continuing to cook. There's few things worse than mushy vegetables and this ice bath will prevent you from having sad, limp asparagus with dinner.
- Blanch the asparagus spears by bringing a shallow pan or skillet of water to boil, you'll want just enough water to cover the asparagus but not so much that they're swimming in it. Once you've reached a rolling boil, add the asparagus. They'll almost immediately turn bright green and start to tenderize. Give them just a few minutes [I'd say maybe 2-4] in the water before removing from heat. To test, spear one with a fork to ensure they meet your standards of al-dente. Some prefer a bit softer, I like mine a bit crisper. Immediately drain all liquid and submerge in your ice bath. Drain liquid once asparagus spears have cooled.
- Now you can go ahead and season the entire bunch [as I'll indicate below] or grab a handful of spears and store in your fridge for salad toppers or to use in your favorite pasta dish. Up to you! The full bunch of asparagus will make enough asparagus as a large side dish for two or a smaller side for four.
- To season the spears, melt your butter in the same skillet you used earlier on medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, toss your asparagus in along with it and season with the above measurements, or adjust to taste. I make this so often that measuring goes out the window and I simply sprinkle and stir until it smells heavenly, then give it a quick taste to see if I want more of a certain spice. Start small and work your way up, you can always add more later! If you have fresh garlic on hand, it makes a great addition. I'm so garlic obsessed that even if I mince a clove or two into the pan with the asparagus I'll still use garlic powder for extra oomph! It's standard operating procedure around here.
- Since the asparagus are already technically cooked, you'll simply be warming them up with the butter and spices, in just a few minutes they'll be ready to scarf alongside your favorite dish. If you're planning out a big meal, you can save the butter/seasoning step for last and leave your blanched asparagus off to the side until your main course is ready. I love it when all my food is ready and piping hot at the same time!
- Squirt asparagus with lemon just before serving or allow everyone to add their own!