Asparagus is a popular vegetable side dish in most restaurants, and we want to share this amazing food with everyone. One of the easiest ways to prepare asparagus is sauteed in a skillet. Some people only know how to cook asparagus through boiling or steaming, so here are some recipes on how to cook asparagus in a skillet.
Ingredients for Sauteed Asparagus
Before we start teaching you how to cook asparagus in a skillet, we need to gather all the ingredients we need to cook this dish. We’ll also share how to properly pick your ingredients since good ingredient results in good food.
The first we need to buy is the main ingredient which is the asparagus. There are ways on how you can choose the best asparagus when buying. The first thing you should look for is green and firm asparagus. Soft and limp asparagus may be old, or it’s already starting to wither. Old asparagus may taste weird, and it can be harder to cook.
The next thing is the tip of the asparagus spears. The leaves on the tips should be dry and tightly closed to the stalk. If the tips seem mushy and wet and the leaves are starting to fall off, avoid those asparagus.
Lastly, check the thickness of the stalk. If it has thin stalks, it should be firmer and more tender compared to thicker ones. Thick asparagus stalks can have a wood-like texture.
Butter is a great medium for cooking asparagus. The addition of the butter flavor to the asparagus brings out the unique flavor of the asparagus. You can even add some butter even if you already used olive oil for sautéing.
Garlic provides amazing flavor and aroma to your asparagus. Toasted garlic also provides additional smoky flavors and health benefits like improving cholesterol levels and fighting sicknesses like common colds.
Salt and Pepper
This may be a given but since it’s the only spice that you need, prepare some sea salt and ground black pepper for your asparagus. It enhances all the flavors, and the black pepper gives your dish that needed spiciness.
Olive oil is your primary oil for this recipe. It provides a clean and healthy taste for your dish. Other cooking oil may feel too oily for your dish, but olive oil does not. You can still add the butter even if you already used some olive oil.
The parmesan cheese rounds up the taste of your asparagus dish. It enhances the overall taste of the dish by adding a salty and fruity taste to your dish. For cheese lovers, parmesan always levels up the flavor of any dish.
Other Ingredients You Can Use
For additional flavors to your asparagus dish, you can also add Shiitake mushrooms. It adds a unique earthy flavor that’s perfect with your asparagus. It’s also filled with umami, so it enhances the flavor of your dish. Some chefs add balsamic vinegar to this recipe to add a sour taste that can blend right with the other ingredients. You can also add lemon zest for additional sweetness.
Cooking the Asparagus
If you finished preparing the ingredients that you will use for the sauteed asparagus, we can now start discussing how to cook asparagus in a skillet. We will share with you the preparations needed for your ingredients and the steps on how to cook this sauteed asparagus recipe.
The first thing we need to do is to prepare our ingredients. Take three to five cloves of garlic. Mince the garlic and set it aside.
The next thing you need to do is to cut the lower part of the asparagus. To determine where to cut, hold both ends of the asparagus on each hand, then bend them towards each other. The breaking point is the end of the tender part, so cut on that part. Match the length with the other asparagus and cut it to that point. Rinse your asparagus to wash off pesticides or dirt.
These are the steps on how to cook asparagus in a skillet. Start off by heating your pan. Add some olive oil. If the oil is hot enough, sauté the garlic. When the garlic turns golden brown, you can now place the asparagus into your skillet.
When cooking your asparagus, always place them in one layer, with every part of the stalk touching the surface of the pan. Cook each side for 1-2 minutes. You can also just rotate each stalk continuously for a minute and a half. Add some salt and pepper to enhance the flavor of your asparagus.
After cooking the asparagus, add a tablespoon of butter. Stir the contents of the skillet and wait for the butter to melt. After the butter has completely melted, grate some parmesan cheese on top of your asparagus.
At this point, you can now add your optional ingredients. If you plan on adding mushrooms, add it before the cheese, right around the time you added the butter. If you want some lemon zest or balsamic vinegar, add it after the cheese and wait for 10-15 seconds after you added it before you take it off the fire.
Serve it while hot. If you properly picked your asparagus, you don’t have to worry about its tenderness.
After you master the steps of how to cook asparagus in a skillet, you can now serve this as a side dish for roasted chicken or grilled chicken. You can also serve it with steaks and mashed potatoes. Asparagus is a very versatile side dish; that’s why it can be a nice addition to your menu. Know more about cooking techniques.