skillet sautéed purple asparagus

March 26th, 2014

Last week I went to my local farmers market and as I was browsing the various tents I spotted these purple asparagus. They were beautiful—a deep, eggplant-esque purple with hints of green peeking through. I asked the vendor what the deal was—do they taste any different? He looked at me, smiled, and said “Once you try these purple asparagus, you’ll never go back. They’re sweeter than the green and just delicious.” Well, sold.

I think the best thing to do with a new vegetable is to cook it simply so you can understand the flavor. I also think that getting vegetables a little caramelized around the edges is always a good idea. So I went about this simple skillet sauté using a little olive oil and butter (I like Jenny Rosentrach’s thought on that subject “You cannot go wrong when you start and finish with butter. And also, butter is much less likely to burn if you heat it in a pan with olive oil.”), those beautiful stalks of royal-looking asparagus, some green garlic, and just as it was done cooking, a splash of lemon and a dusting of parmesan. It. Was. Amazing. Both Aaron and were mad at me for not making more. The asparagus was sweet—not sugary sweet, just a lovely underlying yum, yum sweet—while still maintaining the rich, earthy flavor you’d expect from asparagus.

Ans just a note, I hesitated to write about a main ingredient that is rare (at least I think it is), but chances are it’ll arrive to you sooner or later, and I don’t want you to miss out on it. So grab it if you see it. And if you don’t, this recipe would still be a great addition to your dinner table with green asparagus—I promise. In the meantime, I’ll try to not stop fretting about whether these dang asparagus will be there next week.

skillet sautéed purple asparagus

serves 2

olive oil (enough to cover the pan)
1/2 Tbsp butter
1 bunch purple asparagus*, sliced in half lengthwise (I also halved mine the other way too so I could fit them in my tiny skillet)
2 stalks green garlic or green onions, sliced into rounds
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

*You can also use green if purple isn’t available.

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When it sizzles when you swirl it around, add the asparagus, flat side down. Let cook for about 5 minutes, or until the stalks start to get golden brown around the edges.2. Flip the asparagus stalks and add the green garlic, cook for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and toss in the lemon juice. Garnish with the cheese. Enjoy!

Comments: 9 Total

  1. Katrina @ WVS

    March 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Asparagus is such a pretty vegetable, and I love how you chose purple asparagus for this recipe! It looks awesome!

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