Oh, and did I mention, it’s super easy to put together and really quick to prep and cook?
This is my basic Sauteed Asparagus Recipe.
It’s amazingly delicious and a snap to make.
It’s surprising how such simple, everyday, easy to find ingredients can be put together and cooked into such a delicious dish.
It makes a fabulous side dish that goes well with just about everything.
If you grill steaks, in the short time you have while the steaks are resting, you can whip together this sauteed asparagus and have the perfect side dish ready to go when the steaks are ready to serve!
I think a lot of us believe that the thinner stalks are more tender.
Frankly, in my experience, that is not always the case.
They can be tender or, just as often, they can be on the tough side.
The thinner diameter doesn’t guarantee tenderness.
I prefer to buy medium stalks.
They’re easier to cook properly.
The thinner stalks cook really quickly and can get overcooked and mushy very, very easily.
I used thin stalks in the photos for this post because that was all the market had at the time.
They can be used successfully, just be really careful not to overcook them.
In fact, when necessity dictates that I have to use the thin stalks, I under cook them just a bit.
I take them out of the skillet when they’re still more on the firm side. That way as they cool a bit, they don’t get mushy.
I use these 12-Inch Tongs to make this recipe.
While the asparagus is cooking, I grab small bunches of the asparagus by, 2-3 inch diameter, with the tongs and flip them over in the pan.
I continue this process occasionally, throughout the cooking time, to make sure the asparagus cooks evenly.
Basically, what you want is to move the spears around so that all the asparagus comes into contact with the heat on the bottom of the skillet and also get evenly coated with the butter.
Because the asparagus is long and fills up most of the pan, you can’t simply stir it around to get it evenly cooked!
They’re made by one of my favorite kitchen tool manufacture OXO.
They have a great rubbery grip, have nylon tips that are heat resistant, lock for storage and then even go in the dishwasher for cleaning!
Seriously, what more could you ask a pair of tongs to do.
I own the 9 inch and the 12 inch and use them for everything, including reaching things on the top shelf of my cabinets, rather than pull out the step stool!
I’m not sure it’s always the best idea~LOL 🙂
Garlic in this recipe is optional.
I add it if it’s flavor compliments the other dishes I’m making for dinner.
This recipe is honestly amazing with or without the garlic.
It’s fun to have it both ways.
Each variation is like two different sauteed asparagus recipe.
The instructions don’t really change much if you add it or you don’t.
The most important thing to do, if you choose to add it, is to move it around in the pan so it doesn’t burn.
The minced garlic can tend to clump up.
I just use the tip of the tongs and stir it up, flip it over and distribute it, as much as possible, throughout the asparagus.
When I add garlic, I use a lot of garlic in this recipe.
2 teaspoons of minced garlic is perfect for this dish, in my humble opinion.
If you aren’t a fan of garlic, this recipe is really yummy made without any at all. The asparagus cooked in butter, salt and pepper alone is amazing.
If you like garlic, but don’t like it a lot, cut it back to just 1 teaspoon.
Cook the asparagus just until it’s tender or a knife or fork inserts easily into the stock.
Don’t allow the asparagus to get too soft or it will be mushy by the time you go to serve it.
It continues to soften as it cools down a bit.
The thinner the average stock, the quicker it will cook.
The butter may brown gently around the edges of the skillet.
Moderate your heat, lowering it as needed, so that you don’t brown, or worse, burn your garlic.
Burnt garlic turns bitter and ruins the dish.
I like the garlic to stay nice and golden.
On my cook top I cook it on medium heat most of the cooking time and only turn it down just a bit toward the end if needed.
To make quick work of mincing the garlic, I use an OXO Stainless SteeL Garlic Press.
If you’re sensitive to salt, or just prefer your food lightly salted, cut the salt back to 1/4 teaspoon.
- Yield: Serves 6-8
- Fresh Asparagus, Trimmed - 1 Bunch
- Butter - 3 Tablespoons
- Garlic - 2 Teaspoons
- Salt - 1/2 Teaspoons
- Ground Black Pepper - 1/4 Teaspoons
1. Melt butter, over medium heat, in a 12 inch skillet.
2. Add asparagus and garlic to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Using a pair of tongs, grab 2-3 inch bunches of the asparagus and turn over in the pan. Break up any garlic that may have formed into clumps and spread out and turn it occasionally. Continue this process, turning everything occasionally, to ensure even cooking and avoiding burning the garlic. Cook just until the asparagus is tender, generally 6- 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. (Thinner spears may be tender quicker that 10 minutes. Very thin spears may cook in as little as 4-5 minutes._
3. Using tongs, remove asparagus from the skillet onto a plate. Evenly distribute any garlic and butter left in the pan.