Why It Works
- High heat sears the asparagus, giving it a woodsy, charred flavor while keeping the centers crisp-tender.
Sautéed whole asparagus spears don't get as much play as blanched and grilled do, but they should. When done right, they have a deep, woodsy flavor that's hard to beat. Plus, it's easy to do.
How to Buy and Prep Asparagus
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound (450g) asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large cast iron, carbon steel, or stainless steel skillet, heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil over high heat until shimmering. Add half of asparagus and cook, tossing, stirring, and rotating the spears frequently, until browned all over, charred lightly in spots, and crisp-tender within, about 10 minutes; lower heat if necessary to prevent burning. Using tongs, transfer each spear as it's done to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining vegetable oil and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper.