Asparagus with charred lemon butter + Parmesan

Asparagus with charred lemon butter + Parmesan

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Serves
4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

As soon as the short asparagus season starts, I find myself eating the tender green spears at every given opportunity. To make the most of their incredibly special flavour, I like to keep things simple, and this is one of my favourite preparations – good for a quick lunch or an easy starter. Charring the lemon caramelises it, adding bitter notes and heightening its sweetness, giving it a complexity that works well with the salty Parmesan and nutty asparagus.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g asparagus spears
1 lemon, halved
olive oil
15g unsalted butter
salt
freshly ground black pepper
40g parmesan

Method

  1. Snap the woody bases from the asparagus spears, keeping only the tender tips. Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle pan until stinking hot. Brush the lemon halves with a little bit of olive oil and place cut-side down on the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the cut sides of the lemons are caramelised and charred, then set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the lemon pan. When cool enough to handle, squeeze in the charred lemon juice and stir to incorporate over the heat.
  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the asparagus tips, cooking for 2 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a colander and toss them immediately into the lemon butter, over a very low heat. Divide between plates, season with black pepper and grate over the Parmesan. Eat immediately, with your fingers.
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