Asparagus are in season now in the UK. In Northern Italy they are available during late March/ beginning of April and as soon as they come in season Italians make the most of them. People love them so much that there are dedicated asparagus festivals too.
Growing up in Italy we used to have them almost every day when they were in season. My mum still has a proper asparagus steamer but you don't need one to cook them, an ordinary steamer will do just as well. Steaming is better than boiling them to avoid losing all the lovely nutrients in vegetables.
After steaming I usually just dress them with lemon juice, a pinch of salt and olive oil: very simple but very tasty indeed. Asparagus are a delicate vegetable and the dressing should just enhance their beautiful flavour.
You can also shave some parmesan on top for extra taste and serve them with hard boiled eggs. The perfect match.
If you like asparagus check out my recipe for grilled asparagus too.
- Prep Time : 8 minutes
- Cook Time : 5 minutes
- Yield : 2
Trim the woody asparagus ends, wash them under the tap and put them in the steamer.
Cook them for 5 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks, or until tender if prickled with a fork.
Lay them on your serving dish, sprinkle them with salt, a grind of pepper, squeeze the lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil.
Finally scatter the parmesan shavings (you can use a potato peeler to shave the parmesan) on the asparagus and serve.