Dinner/ Easter/ Side dish

Asparagus almondine

13 April 2021 By Aleksandra

Asparagus almondine is a great spring side dish. It’s a twist on the classic recipe for green beans almondine. In this dish, crunchy asparagus is tossed with a flavorful topping made with sliced almonds, brown butter, shallots, garlic, and brightened up with lots of lemon juice and zest.

Asparagus almondine on a white plate with lemon slices and halved eggs on the side.

Green beans almondine is a French side dish. Almondine, or more traditionally spelled ‘amandine’ means just almond garnish. Usually, just butter, lemon juice, and almonds are added to the green beans, but I also like to add lemon zest, garlic, and shallots. It’s a really amazing flavor combination! In this recipe, asparagus is used instead of green beans!

Ingredients

Asparagus – the best is thin asparagus. Thick asparagus is often woody and fibrous in texture. If you have medium/thick asparagus you can also use it but it’s best to peel it.

Shallots – these are small onions that have a mild onion flavor. You can omit them completely or use a small yellow or red onion instead. Shallots work here best because of their mild flavor but also they soften very quickly.

Almonds – the best are sliced almonds with skin-on. They look prettier and are usually more thick and crunchy than blanched (skinless) sliced almonds. Blanched sliced almonds can break more easily when stirred in the pan. You can also use slivered almonds or just use whole skin-on almonds and chop them roughly.

The day I was supposed to photograph this recipe I couldn’t find regular sliced almonds in store but I did find smoked almonds, so this is what I used and they were great!

Garlic – my recipe uses a lot – whole 4 cloves, but the dish won’t be overly garlicky! It’s important to chop them finely with a knife and not press them through a garlic press. Pressed garlic has a more pungent garlicky flavor.

Butter – use good quality butter for the best results. You can use salted or unsalted butter. You can also use olive oil instead, but the dish won’t taste as good.

Lemon – we’re using lemon juice and zest so it’s good to buy organic lemons. Lemons differ in acidity so it’s good to taste the dish as you season it with lemon juice to adjust the acidity level to your liking. Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice as the bottled stuff doesn’t taste very good.

Labeled ingredients for asparagus almondine.

Step by step instructions

Asparagus with cut off ends on a chopping board. Asparagus is being cooked in a pan.

STEP 1: Prepare the asparagus (photos 1,2):

  • Wash the asparagus, cut off the woody ends (where the green color starts to fade to white).
  • Peel 1/3-1/2 bottom of medium and thick asparagus spears with a vegetable peeler.
  • Cook the asparagus for about 4-5 minutes or until tender but still a little bit crunchy (I cooked it in a large frying pan that fit the asparagus nicely). If your asparagus is super thin, cook it for just 2-3 minutes.
  • Add to an ice bath (a bowl filled with cold water and ice), this is optional but it helps to preserve the green color of asparagus.

A few word about how to trim asparagus:

It‘s important to mention how to cut off the woody ends of the asparagus. The ‘snap method’ is wasteful, the asparagus can break in each section of their length – try it yourself.

How to trim asparagus properly: cut off the woody ends when the green color starts to fade to white, so sometimes you have to cut off a lot, and sometimes almost nothing. Don’t throw them away though! You can add them to your homemade broth or freeze and use them later. Cut off only the really woody ends, that are white / very pale green. It’s better to peel the asparagus than to cut off too much.

Sliced almonds are being toasted in a dry pan. Sliced almonds are being cooked with butter and shallots in a pan.

STEP 2: Make the almond garnish (photos 3,4,5):

  • Cut the shallots into small cubes, finely chop the garlic, zest, and juice the lemon.
  • Add the almonds in an even layer to a big frying pan. Toast them in a dry pan until lightly golden (medium-high heat).
  • Add butter and shallots, cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the shallots are soft.
  • Add garlic and lemon zest, cook, stirring, for about 30-60 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
Lemon zest and garlic added to almonds and shallots in a pan. Almond topping with asparagus in a pan.

STEP 3: Assemble (photo 6):

  • Add the cooked asparagus and briefly warm up with the sauce.
  • Take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice, and toss everything together.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and with more lemon juice, if necessary.

I served this asparagus with hard boiled eggs on the side (add eggs to cold water, bring to boil and cook for 6 minutes).

Enjoy!

How to make it ahead

This dish tastes best freshly prepared but it’s also good reheated (the asparagus will be a little less crunchy and its color will be more dull). You can reheat it in a skillet

Other side dish recipes you may like

Asparagus almondine on a white plate with lemon slices and halved eggs on the side.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Asparagus almondine

Crunchy asparagus is tossed with a flavorful topping made with sliced almonds, brown butter, shallots, garlic, and brightened up with lots of lemon juice and zest.
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Asparagus almondine topped with almonds garlic. Hard-boiled eggs and lemon slices on the side.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 199kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450g) asparagus, preferably thin asparagus spears
  • 1/2 cup (40g) sliced almonds, skin-on almonds are better
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) butter
  • 2 small shallots or 1 large
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare the asparagus: Wash the asparagus, cut off the woody ends (where the green color starts to fade to white). Peel 1/3-1/2 bottom of medium and thick asparagus spears with a vegetable peeler. Cook the asparagus for about 4-5 minutes or until tender but still a little bit crunchy (I cooked it in a large frying pan that fit the asparagus nicely). Add to an ice bath (a bowl filled with cold water and ice), this is optional but it helps to preserve the green color of asparagus.
  • Prepare other ingredients: Finely dice shallots, finely chop garlic, zest and juice the lemon.
  • Make the almond garnish: Add the almonds in an even layer to a big frying pan. Toast them in a dry pan until lightly golden (medium-high heat). Add butter and shallots, cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the shallots are soft. Add garlic and lemon zest, cook, stirring, for about 30-60 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Assemble: Add the cooked asparagus and briefly warm up with the sauce. Take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice, and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and with more lemon juice, if necessary.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If your asparagus is super thin, cook it for just 2-3 minutes.
  • I served this asparagus with hard-boiled eggs on the side (add eggs to cold water, bring to boil, and cook for 6 minutes).
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword asparagus almondine, asparagus side dish, asparagus with almond garnish

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