Our local grocery store had asparagus on sale yesterday, so I got some and made this recipe, which I'd done before, but not for quite a long time. It reminded me that THESE ARE THE BEST VEGETABLES EVER! You cannot believe the amount of self-control it took to take a picture before starting to snarf these beauties down. It's salty, savory, smoky, buttery... yum!
(P.S. From Cooking Light magazine, March 2002. They say 8 servings using 2 lbs. of asparagus. I used 1 lb. (but the full amount of sauce) and 2 adults and one toddler polished it all off quite handily.)
40 asparagus spears, trimmed (about 2 lbs.)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbl. butter
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet [9x13 glass pan was fine for 1 lb.]; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400F for 12 minutes or until tender. [Yesterday I was in a hurry, so I baked for a bit, then turned on the broiler for the last bit to finish them off and it worked great.]
3. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and vinegar. [Be careful - spattery.] Drizzle over asparagus, tossing well to coat. Serve immediately.
Tips & Hints: I read this somewhere else, but an easy way to trim asparagus is to just take each one individually, hold it by both ends, and then just snap off the bottom. It should break just the woody part off. No need to guess how much to cut!