Patricia Wells' Asparagus Braised with Fresh Rosemary and Bay Leaves

April 22, 2014

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

Serves: 4


  • 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
In This Recipe


  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.

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