Lemon-Parmesan Asparagus

Now that spring is here (at least according to the calendar, because the weather seems to disagree), fresh asparagus is starting to appear at the farmer’s markets and produce sections.  Asparagus is one of my favorites, so I look forward to this time of year when I can prepare it farm fresh and tender.  And since we were having Parmesan breading on our pork chops the other night, I figured it was a good time to shred up a little extra Parmesan as a simple topping after blanching spears of this wonderful veggie.

Gather Up:

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus spears (about 1 lb)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

In a small prep bowl, combine the lemon zest, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.  Cover and shake to mix everything well.  Set aside.  Snap the thick woody ends off the asparagus by holding each stalk about an inch from the end in one hand and about half way down with the other.  Bend until the stalk snaps, right at the end of what is the more tender part (usually about 2~3″ up from the end).  Discard the ends.

Fill a large sauce pan half full of water, and heat on high heat.  As the pot just comes to a full boil, drop the spears into the water.  Let cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.  Let stand in the water for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, then drain immediately.

Arrange on a deep-sided plate or shallow serving bowl.  Drizzle the olive oil over the top, then sprinkle with the Parmesan-lemon mixture.

Serve warm along side yesterday’s Parmesan breaded pork chops, or try this along side our Cilantro Lime Tuna.  And if you like this one as much as I do, consider doubling it next time to leave some leftovers for lunch.