I have had asparagus many ways. My dad was always great at grilling it, but we don’t have proper space to have a grill at our house, so we are stuck finding indoor methods. There is always steaming, but for some reason it had been failing us recently. Growing up, veggies for dinner included steaming them with our fancy electric steamer, frozen bags (usually the steamer ones) of veggies, salads, roasted veggies when we had roast chicken, and the occasional one-off dish like our “Spinach Hilda” (recipe maybe to come in the future–it was passed down from my great-grandmother, Hilda).
Anyway, if it is not one of the above recipes, or one that I find, I don’t really have much else to choose from. My husband is fairly picky about veggies and variety, so I typically let him handle it. He is usually a master steamer, but the asparagus hadn’t been coming out crunchy enough lately, so I was excited to find a new easy way to cook asparagus that allowed for crisp stalks. This comes from an America’s Test Kitchen technique. I was doubtful that it would work because I was worried it would dry out the asparagus or make them greasy, but not at all!
Start with your asparagus, prepped however you do it (some cut/peel off the ends, but I grew up with the snapping off the ends strategy). Ours were fresh from a local farm–yum!
Then, add some oil in a skillet/pan and heat it on medium. While it is heating up, arrange your stalks as close to a single layer as you can.
Cover with a lid and let cook for about 3-5 minutes. Then, remove the lid to see this:
Stir and rotate the stalks, cooking again with the lid for another few minutes until everything is a pretty green. Now cook without the lid, turning up the heat if necessary, to brown the stalks. You get the grilled flavor while remaining indoors! (Great for us Seattle people who keep getting rained on in the spring.)
At this point, you could just toss with some salt and pepper and be done. If you want to fancy it up, you can use this sauce that was slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
Have 1-2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped ready (could be left out, but the husband loooooves him some eggs)
While the asparagus is cooking, you can prep this dressing:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Drizzle of olive oil
Mix everything but the olive oil together. Drizzle the olive oil on top.
Put some of the sauce on the bottom of your serving dish. Add the asparagus on top, then cover with more sauce and the chopped hard-boiled egg(s) (you can also add some salt and pepper).