Pan-Roasted Asparagus

Pan-Roasted Asparagus

This simple, delicious approach to asparagus uses olive oil, butter and lemon to really bring out its natural flavor, so make sure you get the freshest you can.


Serves 3 to 4
This recipe works best with asparagus that is at least ½ inch thick near the base. If using thinner spears, reduce the covered cooking time to 3 minutes and the uncovered cooking time to 5 minutes. Do not use pencil-thin asparagus; it cannot withstand the heat and overcooks too easily.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds thick asparagus spears (see note), ends trimmed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/2 lemon (optional)

1. Heat the oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add half of the asparagus to the skillet with the tips pointed in one direction; add the remaining spears with the tips pointed in the opposite direction. Using tongs, distribute the spears in an even layer (the spears will not quite fit into a single layer); cover and cook until the asparagus is bright green and still crisp, about 5 minutes.

2. Uncover and increase the heat to high; season the asparagus with salt and pepper. Cook until the spears are tender and well browned along one side, 5 to 7 minutes, using the tongs to occasionally move the spears from the center of the pan to the edge of the pan to ensure all are browned. Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, and, if desired, squeeze the lemon half over the spears. Serve immediately.