Crunchy almonds, lemon, orange and garlic add bright flavours to tender-crisp asparagus in this recipe for Charred Asparagus with Warm Citrus Sauce. Paleo, Whole30 and Keto-friendly! Asparagus with sauce makes an easy side dish for any time of the year.
A record number of you have been making (and loving!) this asparagus recipe lately. For those of you who haven't had a chance to give it a try, I decided to bump this recipe back to the top of the blog for everyone to enjoy.
It's asparagus season and the asparagus farm down the road from my home will be open soon. I love bringing home a big bag of fresh tender shoots to make my favourite Dairy-Free Creamy Asparagus Soup. However, I'm always on the lookout for something new, different and exciting to try.
I found a recipe in an issue of Bon Appetit, adapted it to my tastes, and I'm sharing this Charred Asparagus with Warm Citrus Sauce with you today.
While asparagus with cheese sauce is always a favourite, if you want something lighter, asparagus with lemon tahini sauce may be just what you're looking for. Want something even better? Try this asparagus with lemon and orange sauce!
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. Here are a few notes about the key ingredients in this recipe for asparagus with citrus sauce.
- asparagus spears: try to choose fresh spears that are all about the same thickness so they cook at the same rate.
- garlic: fresh cloves are always best!
- fresh oregano: just a sprig or two
- lemon zest and orange zest and juice from both to make the warm citrus sauce.
- butter (or coconut oil) and olive oil
- almonds, coarsely chopped, to sprinkle on the finished dish for that necessary "crunch" factor!
Prepare this heavenly warm citrus sauce first by combining the ingredients in a saucepan on the stovetop. Then broil the asparagus until it begins to blister and develop brown spots. Top with crunchy toasted almonds, drizzle with warm citrus sauce and serve!
See complete instructions in the recipe card below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Recipes for asparagus always tell you to trim it. However, cutting the tough ends from the spears with a knife is not the best way to trim them.
Instead, pick up an asparagus spear, bend it gently and the tough end will naturally snap off.
But don't discard these ends! They're full of flavour! Save them for making asparagus soup.
Charring brings out the deeper, darker flavours in vegetables and fruit. While it is highly suspected that eating charred red meat can be dangerous, lightly charring vegetables is not. Charring red meat may create chemicals linked to an increased risk of a range of cancers. These chemicals result when muscle meats containing protein are cooked at high temperatures.
While you would never want to eat burnt vegetables, giving them a light char is not a health risk. You'll love the result!
I broiled these asparagus spears to help bring out the deeper, darker flavours. Cooking this way creates a savoury smokiness. The outside of the spears blister a little and soften while the inside stays crisp.
How to Store
This asparagus dish is best eaten on the day it's made. If you have leftovers, refrigerate them promptly. Reheat in a skillet with a little oil, just until heated through.
When you make this charred asparagus recipe, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing from you. Thanks in advance! Subscribe to my newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
Side dish ideas you might like
Charred Asparagus with Warm Citrus Sauce
- 1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon butter, (or coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- sea salt and pepper
- ¼ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spread ¼ cup almonds on baking sheet and toast for 8 - 10 minutes or until beginning to darken. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine butter, 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil, garlic, oregano, orange zest and lemon zest. Swirl occasionally and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until garlic becomes golden brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, snap tough ends from asparagus spears. Save for another use.
- Heat broiler. Toss asparagus spears with remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil until they begin to develop deep brown spots and are crisp-tender. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with chopped almonds and drizzle with citrus sauce. Serve warm.