I’m a big fan of simple, no-brainer recipes that are delicious enough to serve to guests. So, I consider it my duty to share our favorite asparagus with tarragon butter. I’ve been making this for decades, and it’s my go-to asparagus, company or not. It’s always a hit and never fails to impress, despite having just four ingredients. And that’s counting the pepper.
But isn’t asparagus like that one friend who’s always elegant and sophisticated, seemingly without trying? (In case you’re wondering, I’m never that friend.) I mean, all we’re doing here is steaming the veggies on the stove for 10 minutes, then topping them with melted, salted butter that’s been seasoned with tarragon and black pepper. It doesn’t sound like anything.
But as anyone who’s tried this at my house will attest, it’s everything. Even Mom makes this now.
The tarragon lends so much flavor, you don’t even need to add salt (but I haven’t tried it with unsalted butter.) In fact, I stock dried tarragon just for this asparagus. But I need to experiment using it in other dishes.
Do you use tarragon in your cooking? Let me know!
(Recipe Source: Adapted from a recipe I once saw in a Time cookbook)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon tarragon
- 2-3 dashes black pepper
- Fill the bottom pot of your steamer with a couple inches of hot water. Set it on the stove, covered, over high heat to bring it to a boil.
- While the water is heating, rinse your asparagus and cut off the bottom two inches. Add the asparagus to your steamer basket.
- When the water is boiling, place the steamer basket on top of the boiling pot and cover the steamer basket with a lid. Steam your asparagus for 10 minutes, or until it is just tender.
- When the asparagus is almost done cooking, place your butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl and cover it with wax paper. Melt the butter in the microwave. Rub the tarragon between your thumb and fingers to crush it up a bit, and sprinkle it into the melted butter. Add your pepper and stir to blend.
- Serve the asparagus in a platter with the bowl of tarragon butter on the side. Each person can spoon some tarragon butter over his or her portion. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days.
If you don't have a steamer, you can add an inch of hot water to a large skillet and bring it to a boil. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook until it is just tender.