Asparagus "Bundles" Wrapped In Chives with Lemon-Garlic Butter with a Parmesan Cheese Dusting
A celebration of the end of winter, this dish makes a great addition to any spring meal. The dish can be partially made ahead of time.
- 1 pound asparagus
- About 8 fairly thick chives (preferably chives that are at least 6 inches long)
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 to 2 cloves finely chopped garlic (depending on how garlicky you want the dish)
- Generous grinding black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- About 1/3 to ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Very thinly sliced lemons, for garnish
Trim the tough ends off the asparagus by snapping off the root ends or trimming with a small, sharp knife. Peel the asparagus or not; see below.
In a large skillet, bring 1 to 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. (The water should come up about half an inch in the skillet.) Add the asparagus, cover, and let steam about 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are just tender—like al dente pasta. Drain the asparagus under cold running water to stop the cooking and let drain.
Place 3 to 4 asparagus into a bundle and trim the ends, making sure they are all of equal length. Lay a chive on a work surface and place the asparagus bundle on top. Tie the bundle up with a knot or bow. Place the finished bundle into a large, shallow gratin dish, broiler pan, or oven-proof skillet. Repeat with the remaining asparagus and chives, making 8 asparagus “bundles.”
In a small skillet, heat the oil and butter over low heat. Add the garlic and pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook another 2 minutes. (The dish can be prepared ahead of time up to this point. Cover and refrigerate the asparagus bundles.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the garlic-lemon butter over the asparagus bundles and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the cheese on the asparagus, just below the tips and broil for a minute or until the cheese is bubbling.
Serves 2 to 4.
From the blog and soon-to-be-book Notes From a Maine Kitchen by Kathy Gunst