Sunday, June 20, 2010

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

I am a changed person.  Last week I ate fresh asparagus that was grown one mile from my front door and picked only hours before I roasted it.  The locavore movement suddenly seemed relevant.  I'll probably never be satisfied with grocery store asparagus again, unless its doused with plenty of balsamic browned butter.

Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you.  Browned butter makes pretty much anything taste amazing, but the combination of butter, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar is nothing short of astounding.  There was a little family scuffle towards the end of dinner as we all tried to clean the remaining sauce off the asparagus platter with our crusty bread.  Next time I might have to double the sauce.

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter
adapted from Cooking Light

2 pounds of asparagus
olive oil or cooking spray
kosher salt
black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Arrange asparagus on baking sheet.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil, or coat with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until tender to your liking.

While asparagus roasts, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Shake the pan occasionally.  Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and vinegar.  Drizzle over asparagus and serve immediately.


  1. I like the new look of your blog!


    browned butter is my BEST friend. I can't wait to try this!


    speaking of locavores, have you watched Food, Inc.? I didn't want to watch it because I knew it would be disturbing, and then I did, and it ruined things. I don't want to cook, I don't want to shop, I may have to become a vegetarian or even a vegan. But that would mean losing my best friend (browned butter, you know?). Where do I go from here? I need some food therapy!

  2. From Judy Grabert -
    This looks yummy - love fresh asparagus! Linda and I are sharing a CSA membership (community supported agriculture) at the farm market 2 minutes from my house ( it has been great!! Produce can't get any fresher and has been wonderful! We have experimented with some things we have never tried before and it has been quite enjoyable!! Your crispy popped potatoes have been on the menu twice!!! Delicious with new red potatoes just out of the ground!!! We've had garlic scapes, dandelion greens, green Swiss Chard, red Swiss Chard, broccoli, savoy cabbage, red potatoes, carrots, radishes, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, iceberg, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, Tuscan kale, broccoli rabe, yellow squash, zucchini, spinach, beets, and small cucumbers! We've tried some great new recipes for some of these things!!

  3. Also good with asparagus is to toss with a TOUCH of sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce :) And nothing from the store can ever compare with fresh from the ditch bank :)

  4. We had a friend drop off some FRESH asparagus last week.... I will be begging some more to try this! I also love browned butter... mmmm.

  5. I agree about becoming a locavore. The farmer's markets are one of the best things in Cambridge/Boston. I'm at a different one 3-4 times a week! Nothing compares to fresh and you can even get meat and eggs!

  6. I tried Cooks Illustrated's grilled asparagus with a garlic-lime butter, and was unimpressed. I'll have to try this one, asparagus is one of my favorites. For years my mother said how different home-grown asparagus is, so for Christmas 2010 I got her some crowns, and my parents planted them last spring. They take a while, but I think they might get their first crop next fall.