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White Asparagus with Brown Butter

  • SERVINGS: 4 FIRST-COURSE SERVINGS
  • FAST
  • VEGETARIAN

Fruit and vegetable trimmings that you can't eat, such as the tough asparagus skins and the lemon peel, can go straight to the compost pile.

  1. 20 white asparagus (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed and peeled
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1/2 pound chanterelle or hedgehog mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  4. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise and separated into rings
  6. 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme
  7. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  8. 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tablespoon whole leaves
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet and cook until just beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add the shallots and thyme and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes longer. Add the asparagus and cook, tossing, until warmed through. Add the lemon juice, the chopped parsley and the whole parsley leaves and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on 4 plates and serve.
Notes Mounding soil up around asparagus spears prevents light exposure from turning them green. The white variety is softer and milder than the usual green and must be peeled completely before cooking.