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Asparagus four ways by Mark Bittman

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds asparagus (per recipe)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation

Note: You'll want to use 1-1 1/2 pounds of asparagus per recipe

Steamed With brown butter. Put asparagus in a covered pot with an inch of water (they may stand, lean or lie flat) and turn heat to high. Put 2 to 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir occasionally until foam subsides and butter turns nut brown. When asparagus is done, drain, drizzle with butter and serve.

Grilled With lemon marinade. Heat a grill with rack 4 to 6 inches from flame. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and zest and juice of 1 lemon; brush asparagus with this. Grill asparagus crosswise, turning once or twice and brushing with sauce until done. Garnish: lemon wedges.

Stir-Fried With chicken and shiitakes. Skip shallots. When pan is hot, add oil, then 1/2 pound cubed chicken thighs; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, then remove. Add more oil if pan is dry, then add asparagus and 1/2 pound trimmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms; proceed with recipe, substituting oyster sauce for the fish sauce. Add chicken back to pan along with oyster sauce and water. Garnish: more oyster sauce.

Roasted With or without bacon. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil (more if you don't use bacon) and 4 ounces cubed bacon (optional) in a roasting pan. Roast, turning once or twice, until done. Garnish: grated Parmesan

Serving Size

4 servings