Nothing screams spring like the first sighting of skinny, tender asparagus spears, standing at attention like little soldiers with blue rubber cumberbands.

And one of my favorite things to do is put them through their paces and march them straight to my dinner plate.

Broiled to tender perfection and lathered in a nutty blanket of lip-smacking butter and Marcona almonds, these spears will elevate your dinner from basic to four-star faster than you can say, “Drop and give me ten.”

Asparagus with Browned Butter
Serves 4


1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup Marcona almonds, chopped
juice of half of a lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 450°F. Place asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, coating spears evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 8-10 minutes—depending on thickness of spears—until tender.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat until melted. Add almonds and stir frequently until butter begins to turn light brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and tarragon.

Plate asparagus and drizzle with butter and almond mixture and serve.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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