Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter is my go-to recipe when this delicious vegetable is in season. A simple sauce of brown butter, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar is drizzled over perfectly roasted asparagus.
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter
I adore oven-roasted asparagus. It’s so easy to prepare and superior in taste to steaming or boiling. I typically roast and top with freshly grated Parmesan ala Ina Garten or us this easy sauce to make asparagus with balsamic brown butter.
How to Make Oven Roasted Asparagus
Prep your asparagus stalks, by washing them first, and letting them air dry so they can roast properly.
Trim the woody ends by one of these 3 methods: Bend the ends till the woody base breaks off, use a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous covering at the lower part of the stems, or just bend the lower third of the stalk and the tougher end will naturally break off. Peeling wastes less of the vegetable, but I tend to use one of the other two techniques.
Spread them out evenly on a sheet pan, making sure they’re just one layer deep so they roast evenly.
Coat lightly with olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
Roast until the spears are tender when you pierce them with a sharp knife.
What Is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is exactly what it sounds like, butter that is cooked until browned, but not so brown that it’s burnt. As the butter melts and simmers, the milk solids brown, and during the process, and via the Maillard reaction, numerous flavor compounds are released!
How to Make Balsamic Browned Butter
Then I toss the asparagus with a wee bit of olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and even a nice grating of black pepper if desired. While it is roasting, simply melt and simmer a bit of butter till gets browned with a nutty aroma, then add soy and balsamic vinegar. Voila, this roasted asparagus with balsamic brown butter is as easy as pie. Well, actually a lot easier than pie. You simply must add this to your spring menu!
How Do You Know When Asparagus is Done?
The timing will vary as asparagus will be a different diameter nearly every time you purchase it. Thick spears take longer than very thin spears. When roasting, the spears should still be bright green and tender (not mushy) when pierced with a knife.
I use 9 minutes as an approximate roasting time for medium spears. Thinner and I’ll set the timer for less, and thicker spears will take longer.
Why Make Oven Roasted Asparagus?
Roasting vegetables intensifies their natural sweetness. The sugars are caramelized at the high heat plus roasting in a hot, dry oven dehydrates the spears, also magnifying their flavor. If you tend to boil your vegetables, give roasting a try! You’ll quickly become a convert.
More Asparagus Recipes You’ll Love:
- Chopped Asparagus Salad from The View from Great Island
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Boursin
- Cream of Asparagus Soup from Well Plated
- Asparagus Topped Eggs with Hats
- Chicken and Asparagus with Three Cheeses from Kalyn’s Kitchen
- More of the best Side Dishes
- 1 or 2 bundles of asparagus, washed with woody stems broken off
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425º. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt. Roast 9-14 minutes, till tender. Shake pan at the halfway point to allow for even roasting.
- In a small saucepan, heat butter and cook till lightly browned. Add soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over cooked asparagus.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 226mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Photo circa 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2016.