You wouldn’t consider asparagus, accompanied by new potatoes and basted with melted butter as fast food, would you? But what else would you call a great dish for lunch or dinner that takes only 30 minutes of preparation? Jamie Oliver would call it a 30-minute-wonder, I guess, and he would be right: it is a marvel you definitely should get into.
In Europe, asparagus represents the arrival of springtime, every region is proud of having the fleshiest, thickest white or green stacks, and there are numerous ways to prepare them. They make an excellent salad, they are great when pan-fried or grilled, steaming would be a good idea – but I cook them à l’anglaise, as the French say when they mean: in water. I only add some salt, some sugar and a knob of butter. And that’s basically it!
Don’t forget to peel the stalks and cut off their endings quite generously (because you don’t want to bite on the woody parts of asparagus!). Serve it with the best potatoes you can find, lots of melted butter and some not too dry white wine, say, a German Riesling.