A harbinger of the seasonal shift from snow-dusted branches and abbreviated days to sun-warmed grass and lingering outdoors, asparagus brings with it the promise of new buds in the garden and the traveling scent of meat caramelizing on a hot grill.
Asparagus has a uniquely vegetal, slightly bitter, grassy taste that benefits from the sour, bracing acidity of lemon juice and zest. Lemon asparagus can usher the best spring has to offer: a bridge between bitter cold and temperate breezes. Simply marinate the tender asparagus stalks, roast in the oven until lightly browned crust forms, remove and dress with lemon juice and zest.
With great fiber content and a unique taste, asparagus is a go-to for Primal and keto meals. Another plus: It’s simple to prepare. That said, however, it does take a bit of precision.
Roast in the oven just until it turns light brown, take it out, and toss with lemon juice and zest while still warm. When you zest the lemon, scrape the lemon skin lightly against the microplane. Don’t try to muscle off the whole peel. The white pith underneath that canary skin tastes bitter and can detract from the delicate balance of garden-fresh green vegetable and sun-ripened citrus you want here.
What Flavors Go Well With Asparagus?
We’re partial to lemon and asparagus—the bright, bracing sourness of lemon mutes the slight bitter grassiness of asparagus.
Look to the treasures of the spring season and the garden for more inspiration. The green earthiness of asparagus melds with the gamey flavor of lamb and savory, slightly sweet taste of pork. The tender stalks also like the briny quality of fish and shellfish.
Spruce up cooked asparagus with fresh herbs like lemony thyme, licorice-like tarragon, and the muted onion flavor of snipped chives. Add shaved raw asparagus to salads mixed with baby gem or butter lettuce and whole leaves of cool, sweet mint or lightly peppery basil.
What to Serve with Lemon Asparagus
You know the basic template for a Primal and keto dinner: vegetable and protein with both cooked in ample ghee or avocado, olive or coconut oil. Still, if you’re eating in season, this lemon asparagus pairs well with: