Friday, March 23, 2012

Recipe for Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest

pan-fried asparagus
This simple and amazingly delicious recipe for Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips has only 3 ingredients!

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites. This recipe for lemony pan-fried asparagus tips is something I make over and over.)

Every spring I look forward to the arrival of low-priced asparagus in the grocery store. I love asparagus and I'm definitely a convert to the "less is more" approach when it comes to cooking it. I've tried a lot of good asparagus recipes, but I'm not sure any of them can beat this simple pan-fried asparagus with only three ingredients: asparagus, olive oil, and a lemon. To make it even better, I like to use just the asparagus tips for this recipe, and save the thicker parts of the asparagus stalk to cook using a different method. If that doesn't work for you, cook the thicker parts of the asparagus stalks for a couple of minutes before you add the tips.

Before you start to cook the asparagus, use a zester or fine cheese greater to remove most of the lemon zest (grated bright yellow lemon skin.) When the zest is removed, cut the lemon in half.

Then heat the olive oil in a large pan and lay asparagus in a single layer as much as you can. Cook asparagus over medium-high heat about 4-5 minutes. Then turn off heat, squeeze lemon juice over asparagus, plate it, and sprinkle with lemon zest.

Pan-Fried Asparagus Tips with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest
(Makes 2 servings. Recipe created by Kalyn, with inspiration from a recipe for sauteed asparagus in Fine Cooking.)

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. asparagus tips (from one pound of asparagus, save the rest of the asparagus to cook another way)
1 T good quality olive oil
1 lemon, remove all zest, then cut lemon in half

Instructions:
Cut 4-5 inch long tips from one pound of asparagus (saving the thicker stalk ends for another recipe.) Zest the lemon, then cut lemon in half and remove any noticeable seeds.

Heat the olive oil in the largest frying pan you have. (I used a non-stick pan, but any good frying pan will work.) Add asparagus in a single layer and turn heat to medium-high. Cook asparagus 4-5 minutes, turning about once a minute. Asparagus is done when the thickest part of the stalk can be pierced fairly easily with a fork but asparagus still has some snap to it, and asparagus is starting to brown.

Turn off heat, the squeeze over juice of half the lemon (or use the whole lemon if it's not especially juicy.) Arrange asparagus on a plate with all stalks facing the same way, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve immediately.




Printer Friendly Recipe

Recipe Memories:
I made this several times for my dad and stepmother in the months before she died. even though asparagus wasn't in season yet and I was paying premium prices for it. I kept returning to this recipe because she was supposed to avoid salt, and this was something that tasted wonderful with no salt at all. I'm sure I'll always think of her whenever I make this.

South Beach Suggestions:
This is a wonderful recipe for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. It's a bit of a splurge to use only the tips of the asparagus, even when it's in season, but try it for a special occasion and you'll be a convert.

Other "Less is More" Ways to Cook Asparagus
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Roasted Asparagus from Kalyn's Kitchen
Asparagus with Basil Pesto from Kalyn's Kitchen
Perfectly-Cooked Asparagus from Simply Recipes
Slow Butter Braised Asparagus from Steamy Kitchen
(Want even more asparagus recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
counter customizable free hit

44 comments:

  1. This is my favorite way to make asparagus too! Sometime I roast it, sometimes I pan-fry it--but I always use olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. A match made in heaven!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW !

    this looks great so fresh and yummy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Delicious! :) My Michael make something very similar but with butter and lemon. Your version sounds much more healthy and fresh!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So simple, but so good! I love lemon with my asparagus, the perfect Spring dish...oh wait we still have snow, sad!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I noticed you posted a comment about a chili verde recipe. I believe Red Iguana uses Cumin in their version of chili verde. It is so yummy! If you ever figure it out, let me know! heatherjmcdonald@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. That looks fantastic! I love asparagus, too. I'm going to have to try this one!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fun that there seems to be so agreement on this combination with asparagus. Loved it.

    Marc and Heather, I've asked the Red Iguana for the recipe, but no luck!

    Lyn, such a healthy recipe and delicious too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. YUM!!! I agree that simpler is better when it comes to asparagus. My favourite way of cooking asparagus is to pan-fry with minced garlic and a dash of soy sauce. Heavenly!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Add a handful of almonds and it's my favorite dish, Asparagus almondine!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Back again! Tried the stir fried asparagus tonight with orange zest and juice--out of lemons and limes--it was delicious too! Now the only fruit I have left is bananas . . . naaaaah.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love asparagus paired with lemon. Bundle some of these beauties up with prosciutto, and that's all I need!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cora, orange juice and zest sounds intriguing! I also noticed that Elise had asparagus with lime, which sounds great too.

    Bananas, no!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's some gorgeous asparagus. I love the idea of pan-frying it--never tried it that way. Can't wait to give this a go!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yeah, that's exactly how I make asparagus too! I've done it in the oven as well - same ingredients, just sorta roasted.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So fresh and tasty. I love pan-fried asparagus. Crisp. Green. Beautiful, Kalyn.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ricki, pan-frying is such a perfect way to cook asparagus. Let it get nice and brown.

    Foodie McBody, I've done roasted asparagus too, but I might like this way better.

    Karina, thanks, and love the new photo!

    ReplyDelete
  17. hmm i've never tried pan fried asparagus, and that lemon zest must add a delicious, light flavor!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can't wait to try this!

    Paz

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are one of my favorite blogs. I have been reading and trying things thanks to all the delicious and easy recipes.
    I'd love to go the the market here in Paris with you to pick up those fresh asparagus!
    Have a beautiful week,
    Brigitte

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pearl, I'm a huge fan of lemon zest, and it's wonderful in this.

    Selba and Maya, thanks!

    Paz, I think you will like it!

    Brigitte, I can't think of anything more fun than going to the market in Paris with you! Someday I'm going to make it there and maybe we can do that. I always look longing at the market photos on David Lebovitz and Chocolate and Zucchini, must be wonderful to live there!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love asparagus and especially when it is done simply like this. Making me anxious and I may have to go scream at my asparagus plants to start growing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I always look forward to asparagus season and I'm going to make this for sure. :) My 'simple recipe' uses butter, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and egg so it's not heart healthy and not for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love to see the arrival of asparagus every spring. You're right- keep it simple! This dish looks just divine!

    ReplyDelete
  24. That looks supremely cheerful and yummy... I love asparagus...gonna try it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, Kalyn!! This one is a real winner for me. I am inspired!

    I usually just blanch asparagus and drizzle it with a lemony hollandise, or grill/roast with olive oil and salt.

    This adds the tart lemon, which I love, with asparagus in a much lighter and healthier way than my usual rich hollandaise sauce.

    This sounds so simple, but it never occurred to me. Thank you, Kalyn!!!

    Your recipe will appear on my table tonight!

    Cheers,

    ~ Paula

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fresh and tart...the way we like things at our house. Thanks for the reminder.

    And, we like just the tips too, although I feel badly for not using the entire "sparrow grass" (as the boys call them).

    ReplyDelete
  27. i love your new banner picture...just wanted to pop in and say hi...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Those asparagus tips are jumping right off my screen -- beautiful photo! I use the stalks to make asparagus soup, which is one of my favorite soups for spring.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This sounds wonderfully fresh!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This sounds delicious, and so refreshing! I really look forward to the arrival of asparagus...

    Last year I tried a recipe of asparagus tips with a dip of egg yolk, whisked foamy over steam with a bit of sugar, salt and a pinch of saffron. Not as light as your dish, but it was quite yummy, too.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I habitually roast my asparagus, but this will be the perfect complement for the pork roast I'm getting ready to throw in the crock pot for tonight (with my yummy looking Costco asparagus).

    Reading Brigitte's entry reminded me of my wonderful trip to Europe last year.

    We arrived in Germany just in time for Spargelfest - a festival held for the love of asparagus! All of the markets had beautiful (and huge!) white asparagus and all restaurants brought asparagus up-front on their menus with wonderfully fresh sides, soups, quiches, and other creative offerings.
    If you've not been, this is a great "someday" trip for any asparagus lover!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow, this looks lovely and is so totally going in my next recipe.

    I'm liking your blog, and I'm sure we can become friends, share recipes and just have a nice chat soon, see ya, and thanks sooooo much for this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  33. We love pan fried asparagus at our house but have never thought of adding lemon zest. Thanks for a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This looks fabulous, Kalyn. We often toss asparagus with a little butter and lemon juice but hadn't thought of using olive oil and lemon zest. Great idea! (The only bad thing is that we'll have to wait until June when asparagus season is in full swing.)

    ReplyDelete
  35. How sweet of you to do that for your stepmother!
    I have never thought of pan-frying asparagus--I'm going to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  36. This recipe makes me so excited for the arrival of asparagus. Peak-of-the-season asparagus doesn't need much done to it to make it taste good, so this simple preparation is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yum! I'm making this tonight! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love the addition of lemon zest to this!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Very delicious recipe! I made it last night and enjoyed the flavor the asparagus contained!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am so with you on Asparagus Love/Obsession!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have enjoyed this recipe so much, so it makes me happy that more people are discovering it!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I am so excited that asparagus season is upon us, and I agree - less is so much more!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

Comments don't appear on the blog until they're approved by me, so no need to try again if you don't see it! Feel free make your signature a link to your site if you're a blogger, but links posted within the body of the comment will never be published.

Blogging tips