Buttered Asparagus Tips

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This recipe is slightly adapted from Julia Child and Simone Beck’s brilliant book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I received volumes one and two for Christmas as part of a boxed set and have been steadily reading through them for tips, tricks and cooking lessons.  This recipe is for two people.

Ingredients:

  • 14 stalks Asparagus
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Salted Butter
  • S&P (salt & pepper)

Here’s what I did:

Fill a pot with about 4 quarts of water.  Season with kosher salt and bring to a boil.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and discard or save for vegetable stock. Then cut off the tips of the asparagus, right below the prickly part, about 1.5 inches from the top.  Set the asparagus tips aside and chop up the rest of the asparagus stalks.

Using cooking twine, tie the asparagus tips together in bundles of four or five.

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Once the water is boiling, add the chopped stalks of the asparagus to the pot for about three minutes, then add the bundles tips and boil everything for another three minutes.

Drain the asparagus.  Rub softened butter on the bottom of a baking dish.  Melt one additional tablespoon of butter. Place the asparagus stalks in the buttered baking dish, pour over half of the melted butter.  Untie the asparagus tips and place them on top of the stalks, then cover with the rest of the melted butter.

Cook the asparagus, uncovered, in the oven for about 8-10 minutes.  Serve immediately with a sprinkle of finishing salt and a dash of pepper.

A few notes, FYI:

Most of the adaptations are to the cooking time of the asparagus.  I followed the recommended cooking times exactly on the first go around with this dish and the asparagus was a little too limp for our liking.  I also took out an extra step on the stove in the middle that I don’t think is necessary, which helped speed up the process.


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