Asparagus with Brown Butter

What to eat now: Asparagus is in its prime. How can you resist? Eat local asparagus while you can–see recipe below. What to drink now: Market Cocktails are returning to Osteria La Civetta on Thursday evenings. Cin cin!

Asparagus with Brown Butter 
1 lb. thin spears of asparagus, washed, trimmed
2 Tbs. neutral oil
4 Tbs.unsalted butter
Sea-salt, or use Kosher
1 small lemon, halved, seeds removed
2 Tbs. finely chopped chervil, parsley or a mixture

Wash asparagus and cut off woody stalk ends. (Cut at the point where a knife goes through without much resistance.)  Trim the stalk-bottoms, making a little angle cut to expose more of the inner part of the stalk.

Warm oil in a heavy sauté pan that holds asparagus stalks more or less in one layer. With pan over medium heat, add asparagus, salt and 2 tablespoons of water. Shake to roll around the asparagus (or just stir it) and cover pan. Cook, removing cover now and then to roll around the asparagus so it cooks evenly. You don’t really want asparagus to brown– add a dash more water if it gets dry. About 5 minutes should do it for thin spears.

Remove asparagus to a warm plate and add butter to sauté pan. Cook until the butter ceases foaming and starts turning nutty brown. Add a hefty squeeze of lemon juice and salt to taste. Pour over asparagus tips and dust tips with herbs.
For 4, as a side dish. Great with fish.

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