Flavored butters are a nice, simple, tasty way to enhance cooked vegetables. As the butter is added at the end, any method of cooking can be used. Besides curry, try other spices or spice combinations, as well as herb butters (search our recipe file for herb butters). Don’t use too much oil (or butter) to sauté or roast the asparagus, though, if steaming, use perhaps a bit more butter in the mixture. Vegans, just use oil in place of the butter.

1 T butter, or to taste
1 t curry powder, or to taste
1 t lemon or lime juice
salt, to taste
1 T vegetable oil, or 1 T butter
a pound or so of asparagus spears

1. Melt the 1 T of butter, than combine, in a small bowl, with the curry powder, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil or melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and turn the spears over to coat with the fat. Cook until desired tenderness is achieved, crisp-tender through soft. Add curry butter, toss to coat, remove from heat, and serve. To roast, heat oven to 400°F. Put spears on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with some oil, and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour curry butter over, tossing to coat. To steam, put spears in a steamer basket that has been set over simmering water. Steam until desired tenderness is reached. Remove asparagus from steamer basket to a serving platter and pour curry butter over all, tossing or not.

Note: It is perfectly acceptable to eat asparagus spears with one’s fingers, which, for me, is part of its appeal.