This is quite possibly my favorite side dish to make. It’s simple, quick, delicious, and requires just one pan. The asparagus is cooked in water first, the garlic is toasted next, then they are combined. The toasted garlic takes on a delicious nutty flavor that seeps into the olive oil and coats the asparagus and makes a heavenly combination.
If you’ve never prepared asparagus before, then this is the recipe you should try for the first time. There are no measurements, no cooking times or temperatures, no rights or wrongs. It’s all done by feel, and I’ll walk you through it.
First, I want to show you what pan I use so you can find one similar to it. I trim my asparagus by cutting the bottom parts off because they are tough and woody. I like them to be tender and yummy. Then, they all fit nicely in my 10″ Stainless Steel, Copper Bottom pan. It doesn’t have to be exact, it doesn’t have to be stainless, it doesn’t have to have copper. But it does need to be large enough to fit your asparagus, and it does have to have high sides like a family-style pan… so take a good look at my pan, and then go digging in your cabinets to see if you can find one that works. Ready, set … GO!!
Did you find a pan that works?
Ok. Once you find your pan, and you’ve trimmed about 2-3″ of the hard woody part of the asparagus off (the bottom part), fill the pan with water and bring it to a boil. Place the asparagus in the boiling water and cook the asparagus until “fork-tender,” which means your fork goes into the asparagus easily but with a bit of resistance. You do NOT want the asparagus to be mushy. Drain the asparagus. Place the pan back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and three fat garlic gloves that have been finely minced. Stir the garlic around until golden. Add the asparagus and toss the asparagus, garlic, and olive oil around to coat the asparagus. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Serve and enjoy! Easy peasy!
This picture shows me adding the asparagus on top of the toasted garlic right before I toss it all together.