No blanching is necessary for this quick and easy Sauteed Asparagus recipe. This Italian side dish is ready in just 15 minutes. The addition of garlic and lemon juice creates the best asparagus recipe.
Do you ever wonder why the simplest foods always seem to taste so good?
The secret is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Mediterranean cooking exemplifies this concept.
Sauteeing broccolini or zucchini with garlic and high-quality olive oil, results in an amazing burst of flavor.
This stovetop asparagus recipe uses the same method.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this simple, classic Italian side dish.
Mise en place
Prep the asparagus: Grab the bottom and the middle part of each stalk and try to bend it. It should break naturally. It might not be as fresh as you think if it doesn’t. You need about 1 pound for this recipe or about 15 spears.
Rinse under cold running water and set aside.
Prep the garlic: Crush about 3-4 garlic cloves with the side of your knife. Remove the papery skins and cut off the tips. Give them a coarse chop and set them aside. Feel free to adjust this amount based on your personal preference.
How to saute asparagus
Place a large skillet over medium heat.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add asparagus and saute for about 3-5 minutes. The size of the asparagus will determine the total time.
Taste for doneness. It should be crisp-tender.
Add chopped garlic cloves and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust accordingly.
Add lemon juice and saute for another 30 seconds or so.
Remove from heat.
Add lemon zest and toss to combine.
If desired, garnish with grated cheese and serve.
- Adjust the total cooking time to the size of your asparagus
- When sauteeing your asparagus, as soon as you notice that the color of your asparagus has become an even deeper green, they are probably done. Taste for doneness and then remove them from their pan.
- Adding the garlic towards the end of the cooking time prevents it from burning.
Asparagus is a nutrient powerhouse with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber! [source]
Whether you steam, boil, stir-fry, roast, or even barbecue, their versatility allows them to be used in countless ways in so many recipes.
How to buy asparagus
- Look for compact and tight asparagus tips that are closed.
- Examine the stalks. They should be firm and not flexible or limp. There should also be no wrinkles or shriveling.
- Depending on the variety, look for a bright rich color (green, purple or white). The presence of yellow indicates the asparagus might now be as fresh as you think.
- Take a look at the bottom of the stalk, it should not be dry or shriveled.
How to store asparagus
If you are not using it right away:
- remove any elastic bands or ties wrapped around the base or the head of the stalks
- trim the bottoms (about ½-inch)
- wrap your stalks in damp paper towels and place them loosely in a plastic bag OR place them upright in a jar with 1 inch of water and refrigerate
- do NOT wash before refrigerating
- use within two days of purchase to ensure maximal freshness
Simple asparagus recipes we love
With all of the rituals associated with spring, my upbringing also had its’ share.
I can still remember all the excitement associated with Easter!
The day would begin by attending Easter Mass…my grandmother would spearhead this activity…she would round up her grandchildren and we would walk to church.
Easter also meant I would finally be allowed to wear my brand new “spring” dress and coat. This was a springtime tradition initiated by my mom for my sister and me. Regardless of the weather, we would always wear our new spring outfits.
Easter Day also meant we would finally be allowed to have all the fantastic baked goods my mom and grandmother had prepared for the entire week.
Still to this day, my all-time favorite is my mom’s Rice Ricotta Easter Pie and of course, my nonna’s Sweet Ricotta Easter Pie.
This sauteed lemon garlic asparagus would often be served at lunch as one of the contorno (side dish) served alongside Rack of Lamb and Oven Roasted Potatoes.
And where there is food, people will gather!
And so it was that family and friends would come over to celebrate Easter and I was ready because I had my pretty little dress.
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this sauteed garlic asparagus recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Sauteed Asparagus -the Best Recipe
- 1 pound asparagus fresh, 15 spears, bottom trimmed and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 3-4 garlic cloves chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon Romano or Parmesan cheese grated, optional
- Place a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil.
- Add asparagus and saute for about 3-5 minutes. The total time depends on the size of the asparagus.
- Taste for doneness. Should be crisp-tender.
- Add chopped garlic cloves and continue to cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust accordingly.
- Add lemon juice and saute for another 30 seconds or so.
- Remove from heat.
- Add lemon zest and toss to combine.
- If desired, garnish with grated cheese and serve.
- adjust the total cooking time to the size of your asparagus
- do not allow the garlic to burn
This post was originally published on March 27, 2016, and republished on March 22, 2020, with updated content and photos. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much!