Is it possible to get great grilled flavor from a simple stovetop recipe?
This recipe works best with asparagus that is at least 1/2 inch thick near the base. If using thinner spears, reduce the covered cooking time to 3 minute and the uncovered cooking time to 5 minutes. Do not use pencil-thin asparagus; it cannot withstand the heat and overcooks too easily.
Serves 4 to 6
1. Heat oil and butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add half of asparagus to skillet with tips pointed in one direction; add remaining spears with tips pointed in opposite direction. Using tongs, distribute spears in even layer (spears will not quite fit into single layer); cover and cook until asparagus is bright green and still crisp,about 5 minutes.
2. Uncover and increase heat to high; season asparagus with salt and pepper. Cook until spears are tender and well browned along one side, 5 to 7 minutes, using tongs to occasionally move spears from center of pan to edge of pan to ensure all are browned. Transfer asparagus to serving dish, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, and, if desired, squeeze lemon half over spears. Serve immediately.
To Serve 2-3:
Cut all ingredient amounts in half. Cook asparagus in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, covered, for 3 minutes. Remove cover and cook over medium-high heat until tender and browned, 3 to 4 minutes.