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Asparagus peels in a teracotta bowl

Crispy Asparagus Garnish and Steamed Asparagus

Crispy Asparagus Garnish and Steamed Asparagus is easy to make and great way to use more of the vegetable! The garnish brightens and enhances almost any dish.

Please note that most of the prep time is inactive, marinating time.

Course Side Dish, Garnish
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan side dishes, great for garnishing
Prep Time 1 hour 12 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Calories 132 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein

Ingredients

For the steamed asparagus

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pounds asparagus
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the garnish

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • asparagus peels from the above 1½-pounds asparagus
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

To make the asparagus

  1. Zest 1 lemon and set it aside in a small dish in the refrigerator for later.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Pour this citrus mixture into a large zip-lock bag. Set aside.
  3. Rinse and dry the asparagus.Then cut the bottom few inches (the tough portion), off of the spears and discard.

  4. Gently peel the asparagus spears and set the peels aside for the garnish.

  5. Place the peeled asparagus spears into the bag with the citrus mixture and let them marinate for about 1 hour, in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  7. Cover a baking sheet with a large sheet of heavy-duty foil and add the marinated asparagus in a single layer, if possible. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Wrap the asparagus in the foil so that it's completely sealed.
  8. Steam the asparagus in the preheated 400°F oven just until it's tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

While the asparagus is steaming, make the garnish

  1. Coat the bottom of a small to medium-sized skillet with the olive oil. Once it's very hot, add the asparagus peels. (They should sizzle when you add them -- if you don't hear the sizzle, wait until the oil is hotter.)
  2. Sauté the peels until they begin to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside on a couple layers of paper towels to drain.

  3. Remove the asparagus from the oven and open the foil. Let it cool and serve as a side dish, garnished with the lemon zest.
  4. Add the asparagus garnish to whatever else you're serving -- or just eat it!

Recipe Notes

It's not always necessary to peel asparagus -- though it ultimately creates a lovely texture, especially on thicker spears. And it's a great opportunity to make the fun garnish.