You can embellish the basic method, adding peas or fava beans to make a spring vegetable mélange, or you can toss the sautéed asparagus with hot pasta. Or serve this as a side dish for roast chicken, lamb, or pork.
Slice the asparagus on a sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick, leaving the tips whole. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over moderate heat. Add the asparagus and season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is just tender, 5 to 6 minutes, lowering the heat if needed to keep the asparagus from browning. Don't overcook; the asparagus will soften a little more as it cools.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the parsley and 3 tablespoons of the cheese. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the remaining cheese, and serve immediately.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips