Brown Butter Asparagus with Pignoli

With a new cookbook in hand, I’ve been pouring through wonderful vegetable recipes. Fast, Fresh, and Green by Susan Middleton (2010) is just one of those references in which foodies can get lost in a multitude of ways to prepare fresh and flavorful vegetables.  With asparagus in season, I selected this simple recipe to pair with the Halibut in Prosciutto-Herb Cream Sauce.  It is so simple and so delicious.  As the author states, “this recipe should be in your repertoire”.  She’s right and it has now been added permanently to my recipe collection!  Simplicity is often the best, which this asparagus in brown butter exemplifies!

Brown Butter Asparagus with Pignoli

What You Need:

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, cut on diagonal if preferred
  • 4 Tbsp. butter (I doubled this from 2 Tbsp. in the recipe)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large frying pan, melt the butter until brown, but not burnt.
  • Add the pine nuts.
  • Cook until the pine nuts are a golden color, about 3 – 4 minutes more.
  • Fill a large saucepan with water and add 2 tsp. salt.
  • Bring to a boil and drop the asparagus in.
  • Cook until crisp-tender, 3 – 4 minutes only.
  • Do not overcook, they will continue to cook in the butter.
  • Drain the asparagus and place immediately into the butter-nut mixture.
  • Coat well.
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice, toss again.
  • Season with freshly grated black pepper.
  • Serve immediately while asparagus is hot.
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  1. Asparagus is wonderful and this recipe makes it even more wonderful Roz. Your photos are fab so crisp and fresh, as always!

  2. Wow, I bet this is just divine. I could gobble it up for dinner alone.

  3. Asparagus and pine nuts, something we will certainly try once the asparagus is in season here, should not be long now. Thanks Roz.

  4. Wonderful asparagus, I’m sure they taste delicious :)

  5. Beautiful! I bet the brown butter and pine nuts were great together.

  6. We love asparagu and it is on sale for 1.99 a pound right now, I’ve never thought to try pine nuts with it, but now I will THANKS! anne

  7. What a wonderfully simple but delicious-sounding recipe – definitely going to try this one! Thanks, Gill

  8. Perfect! This will come to my table. Love celebrating spring by celebrating the vegetable – simply. But cleverly.

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