Meatless Monday: 2017’s Last Asparagus

This entry was posted on Sep 25, 2017 by Charlotte Bell.

meatless monday

I know, I know. Asparagus is a spring vegetable. Having just passed Autumn Equinox, I’m aware that we’re now in the opposite of spring. Still, when I saw a beautiful bundle of pencil-thin organic asparagus at my favorite local grocery, I had to nab it. Not only was it beautiful, but it was also their last bundle. And thin asparagus is just so elegant.

I love roasting veggies. Roasting concentrates the flavors and caramelizes them. But pencil-thin asparagus needs a different treatment. Roasting tends to shrink veggies. When you roast thin asparagus it almost disappears.

So instead, I decided to lightly boil it and then add some extras after it was finished. Since I have an abundance of fresh basil in my garden, that’s what I chose. (In retrospect, I feel I should have used opal basil, just for the presentation, but oh well.) You could also use other herbs such as tarragon or Italian parsley. At any rate, it was a quick and easy, and very tasty, side dish.

I dressed it with ghee after it was cooked, but if you want the recipe to be totally vegan, you can use a good olive oil instead.

Meatless Monday: Pan-Boiled Asparagus with Fresh Herbs

  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter, ghee or olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade cut
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat water in a wide skillet to boiling.
  2. When the water boils, add the asparagus, placing them in the skillet so that all the tips face the same direction.
  3. Boil for 6-12 minutes. If the asparagus is thin, go for the shorter time. Pierce a spear with a fork occasionally to check for doneness. It should be slightly crispy. Make sure you pull the asparagus out of the skillet before it becomes limp and slimy!
  4. Remove the asparagus when done and place on a serving plate in a single layer.
  5. While the asparagus is still hot, spread some ghee, butter or olive oil over it. Add some salt and pepper, and then sprinkle fresh herbs on top.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.