5 Ingredients or Fewer

Patricia Wells' Asparagus Braised with Fresh Rosemary and Bay Leaves

April 22, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A vegan, 5-ingredient treatment for asparagus with a sneaky way of bringing out its sweeter side. All you have to do is ignore the season, and all conventional wisdom. Adapted slightly from Vegetable Harvest: Vegetables at the Center of the Plate¬†(William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 16 plump spears (about 2 pounds) fresh white or green asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Several sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Several bay leaves, preferably fresh
  1. Rinse the asparagus and trim the tough ends.
  2. In a skillet large enough to hold the asparagus in a single layer, combine the oil, asparagus, salt, rosemary, and bay leaves. Sprinkle with several tablespoons of cold water, enough to cover the asparagus by about one-third. Cover.
  3. Cook over high heat just until the oil and water mixture begins to sizzle.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and braise the asparagus, turning from time to time (leave the lid off or ajar -- by the time the asparagus is tender, the liquid should have cooked off), just until the vegetable begins to brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the asparagus). Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Miche
  • kasia S.
    kasia S.
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
  • Aimee
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

10 Reviews

Aimee March 20, 2016
This was fabulous but be sure not to use too much water. I had to keep pouring water off to get the spears to brown.
Carol April 28, 2014
Delicious! Would never pair rosemary with asparagus, but it was wonderful!
Vicki April 28, 2014
I found this recipe in Patricia's new edition of Food Lovers Guide to Paris and she garnished with lemon juice and zest, minced rosemary, thyme, parsley, fleur de sel, ham or sausage matchsticks and included a side of whipped ricotta. I made this for my family and they loved it however I left off the meat and ricotta. I included the lemon juice and zest and herb garnishes -- they added a special touch and flavor! I'm going to make the entire recipe including the ham or sausage matchsticks and whipped ricotta and serve at an upcoming dinner party.
kasia S. June 21, 2014
That's the only Wells book I have ( definitely time to get more) thank you for mentioning it :) I will check out what else she has in it. I love veggie dishes.
salena April 24, 2014
I thought this was extraordinary. A combo of my first pickings and supermarket spears (mine were sweeter). Instead of adding herbs to butter asparagus are already seasoned. They were wonderful. No browning although water evaporated and asparagus were perfectly cooked at that point (maybe 10 minutes).
kidzcook April 24, 2014
I just picked asparagus in my garden - I am making this for dinner!
kidzcook April 24, 2014
update - This was delicious! I left the lid on for 5 minutes, total cooking time about 12 minutes, lightly browned and oh so yummy.
Miche April 23, 2014
even with the olive oil, I don't understand why the asparagus would brown if there is enough water to cover by one third (and you cook covered, so it won't evaporate.)
Kristen M. April 23, 2014
Great question -- in turning the asparagus in step 4, I keep the lid off, so the liquid does cook off a fair amount and allow for browning. I'll clarify this in the instructions.
Miche April 23, 2014
Thanks, Kristen.