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Asparagus with Brown Butter and Sage

April 30, 2017

By Kath Dedon


Asparagus is in season now! I love asparagus and I love it when we can buy fresh local asparagus. The New York Times recently published a David Tanis recipe for Steamed Asparagus with Pistachios and Brown Butter that I had to try.

Mr. Tanis calls for ¼ cup of crushed toasted pistachios. I thought that would be overwhelming. I used only about a tablespoon. Next time I might just skip the pistachios. They were good, if you happen to have them, but, to me, it’s all about the brown butter and sage.




Asparagus with Brown Butter and Sage

(Adapted from a David Tanis recipe in the New York Times)


(print the recipe)


Serves 4


1½ pounds asparagus, tough ends cut off

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped sage, plus 12 whole sage leaves

2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus ½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon toasted pistachios, chopped (optional)

Salt and pepper




1. Put a plate in the oven and preheat the oven to Warm.

2. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a skillet. When it’s boiling, add 1 teaspoon salt and the asparagus. Cook for 2 minutes.

3. Drain the asparagus and put it on the warm plate in the oven.

4. Return the empty skillet to the burner on medium-high heat and add the butter. When it’s melted, add the chopped sage and sage leaves. Cook for a minute or two until the butter is lightly browned.

5. Add the lemon juice and zest and turn the heat down to low.

6. Add the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and turn the asparagus in the butter with tongs.

7. Put the asparagus on a serving plate and pour all of the butter sauce over it. Sprinkle with the pistachios, if using.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2017 9:15 am

    Asparagus season is the best! This recipe looks delicious 🙂

  2. lostinapot2017 permalink
    May 5, 2017 1:47 am

    Great recipe. They had White Asaragus at the market, so we used them. It was great. Also, no nuts (allergy in the house) so we substituted pine nuts. Is was really good.

    • May 5, 2017 8:53 am

      Pine nuts are a great substitution. I don’t often see white asparagus in my regular stores. I’ll have to try it when I do come across it.

      • lostinapot2017 permalink
        May 8, 2017 5:02 am

        We’re close to the asparagus region in Germany so they’re very common (but expensive) in May. They are so sweet and tender.

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