Quick Perfect Side

[recipe servings=”4″ time=”28mins” difficulty=”Easy”]

Asparagus.  It’s that time of year again when the hearty perennial is fresh, readily available and on almost every menu.  I love asparagus – even as a kid I liked it.

Over the years I’ve seen it prepared in many ways, and have been instructed to cook it in several preparations (trimmed, peeled, and blanched in heavily salted water; grilled; seared on a flat top grill; butter poached; etc.).  In my experience asparagus cooks up best with simple attention.  I like to trim woody bottoms, rinse, and either cook over high heat in a sauté pan with minimal fat, or grill over high heat until crisp-tender.

Here’s a quick and easy preparation served with seared hangar steak:


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2  Roma tomatoes, de-seeded, julienned
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • [/recipe-ingredients] [recipe-directions]
  1. Heat oil over high heat in a large skillet.  Stir in onions and anchovy paste. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions just begin to turn brown at the edges, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in asparagus and lemon zest.  Cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus just begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, olives, salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes just begin to break down and asparagus is tender crisp, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, stir in butter until butter is just melted and coats vegetables. Serve immediately.