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Asparagus With Orange Butter

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 stick cold butter, cubed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds asparagus


  • In a small saucepan combine orange juice, wine and shallots and bring to a boil over medium heat. When liquids have reduced by half, add cream. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to very low. Add butter, a few small pieces at a time, whisking constantly. Add more butter just as last pieces melt, and continue whisking until all butter is added. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in a warm but not hot place.
  • Meanwhile, bring a deep saucepan of salted water to a boil. If asparagus are tough, peel stems before cooking. For a pretty presentation, line up tips and chop stems to same length. Tie asparagus loosely together in two or three bunches with two pieces of butchers' twine each. Add asparagus bundles to pot, stem ends down, and boil until you can squeeze a piece between your fingers and it is tender but not soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, remove strings and place on a serving platter. Drizzle orange sauce over and sprinkle with orange zest.