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Asparagus with Butter Sauce

Contributed by Chef Cynthia Chippindale

When you have wonderful, fresh asparagus, you don’t need to do much to it to make a delicious dish. Go to your local farmer, take home a bundle of this treasure of spring, treat it tenderly and it will reward you with a taste you will crave all year long. Enjoy it while its too-short season lasts.

For 4 servings:

2 lbs fresh-from-the-farm asparagus (yes, half a pound each—you will love it that much)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Peel the tough ends of the asparagus, but not the tender ends (about 2 inches). Wash them well (They will still have farm dirt on, right?)

Lay your asparagus in a single layer on a sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast just until they are tender, but still crisp, between 5–10 minutes.

While they are roasting, make your butter sauce.

Juice of one lemon
1 stick of very cold butter, cut into small cubes
Salt and pepper
1 or more tablespoons chopped herbs (chervil, chives, parsley are very nice)

In a small saucepan, boil down the lemon juice until it reduces by about half.

Remove from the heat, and slowly add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking constantly until it is all incorporated. You will have a thick, almost mayonaisse-ish sauce.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the asparagus between 4 plates, spoon the sauce over them and sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs.




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