Asparagus with Lemon Butter Crumbs

This is just to ring the changes from plain melted butter and the crumbs add a lovely crunchy texture.

Serves 4 as a starter

This recipe comes from Delia’s Vegetarian Collection.

Asparagus with Lemon Butter Crumbs
 1¼ lb (570 g) fresh asparagus
 finely grated zest 1 lemon
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 2 oz (50 g) butter
 1½ oz (60 g) fresh white breadcrumbs (about 2 slices bread, crusts removed)
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a steamer.


First wash the asparagus in cold water, then take each stalk in both hands and bend and snap off the woody end.

Arrange the asparagus stalks in a steamer and steam over simmering water for 5-6 minutes, or until they feel tender when tested with a skewer, being careful not to overcook them.

While the asparagus is cooking, heat 1 oz (25 g) of the butter in a frying pan. As soon as it is frothy, stir in the breadcrumbs and cook them, stirring constantly, until they're evenly browned and crispy.

Then tip the crumbs on to a plate, stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Now put the pan back on to the heat and add the remaining butter. As soon as it is frothy, add the cooked asparagus and toss to coat them in the butter.

Sprinkle with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Divide the asparagus between warmed serving plates and sprinkle with the crumbs.

Serve immediately.

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