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Quick and easy steamed asparagus is the fresh spring dish you need! Add a squeeze of lemon for a fresh and flavorful side.
One vegetable we always look forward to in springtime is asparagus.
While asparagus is available in many grocery stores year-round, nothing beats the taste of fresh asparagus from the farm!
We love grabbing a bundle of asparagus at the farmers market and cooking it the same day.
One of the best ways to get the full flavor? Steaming!
I know you’ve probably had over-steamed vegetables that are limp and mushy.
The key to steaming is to only cook the vegetables until they are vibrant in color and crisp-tender.
This is easiest to do with fresh vegetables. Frozen vegetables are par-cooked before freezing to lock in their flavor, but that means it can be easy to overcook them.
Fresh asparagus is steamed in minutes, giving you an incredibly easy and versatile side dish!
Ingredients for steamed asparagus
You really only need water and asparagus to do this steaming method.
To finish the dish, add salt and pepper, fresh lemon, or a drizzle of olive oil.
Asparagus comes in a variety of colors, though you might only see green asparagus at the grocery store.
Both purple asparagus and white asparagus are delicious options if you can find them!
The flavor of white asparagus is mild with a slight bitterness. It is grown underground to prevent the color development.
Purple asparagus is sweeter than green asparagus with a nutty taste. Even though the outside layer is purple, the inside is the same as green asparagus, and the purple hue tends to fade once cooked.
You’ll find asparagus in both thin and thick stalks.
Thin asparagus works well for steaming. If you use thick stalks, keep in mind that it will need to cook a little longer.
How to steam asparagus
To prepare steamed asparagus, you’ll first need to trim it.
Asparagus has a woody end that does not taste as good to eat. Helpfully, asparagus spears will break naturally at the edge of the woody end.
Simply take your asparagus spears and bend them at the end until it snaps off.
You can also trim off the end with a knife, trimming about 1 inch of length.
Make sure your stalks fit into your steamer basket laying down (or standing up if you have a special asparagus steamer). Cut any longer stalks in half to fit as needed.
Take a large pot that fits your steamer basket and fill it with 1 inch of water.
Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, place the steamer basket with the asparagus into the pot and place on a lid.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and steam for 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender and vibrant green in color.
Place on a serving plate and season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and/or a squeeze of lemon.
Steamed asparagus goes with just about everything, so it’s a great go-to dish.
I love it with lemon, but you can also drizzle it with a flavored oil or a good quality balsamic vinegar.
Serve with a homemade aioli or hollandaise sauce for dipping. Ranch dressing is also a good option (especially if you’re serving picky kids).
Sprinkle on crushed red chile flakes for heat, or add more savory flavor with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Use leftover steamed asparagus to make stir fry, asparagus dill frittata, or ham asparagus scones.
However you enjoy it, this easy dish will be a go-to all spring!
- 1 pound asparagus
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh lemon wedges, optional
- Olive oil, optional
- Add 1 inch of water to a large pot that fits a steamer basket. Set over high heat and bring to a boil.
- While water is heating, trim ends from asparagus and arrange in a steamer basket. If needed, cut spears in half to fit into basket.
- Once water is boiling, set the steamer basket in the pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and steam for 5 minutes. Asparagus is done when it is crisp-tender and vibrant in color.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a squeeze of lemon or drizzle on olive oil.
Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies. So flavorful. This cooking method was easy to do thanks to this recipe.
I always over-steam my asparagus, but not this time. Thanks for your tips!!
My favorite asparagus preparation! Yum!
We love asparagus and this steaming method cooked it perfectly!
We love asparagus! This is a simple and delicious way to prepare it!